The Milwaukee woman lost her job after Wells Fargo did a security check and found two shoplifting convictions from 40 years ago when she was 18-years-old and had just left high school. Wells Fargo stands behind her termination.
Yolanda Quesada, 58, worked for Wells Fargo for more than five years. During her tenure she had been awarded pins and certificates for her work. As she told MSNBC, "I'm very good at what I do."
Quesada worked in the bank's mortgage unit. She was employed answering phones in the customer service division and never handled customers' money in the course of her duties. But changes to federal banking regulations require every employee of the mortgage unit to undergo a security check, including a fingerprint check by the FBI.
The 58-year-old knew nothing of the security check until she received a letter last Saturday that included the results of the FBI check. When she went to work on Monday, she was fired and escorted out of the bank. Quesada was quoted by Fox News as saying, I just got the FBI report on Saturday in the mail. Monday they said you're fired. They never let me say what happened, explain myself, nothing.
In 1972, Quesada had just finished high school. One of 12 children, she says she stole clothes from a Milwaukee department store so she would have something to wear at her job. She received a $50 fine for the first conviction and after being convicted a second time, she was placed on probation for a period of one year. She has not been convicted of a criminal offence since 1972.
Jim Hines, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Due to legal requirements and changes in the regulatory environment, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has been performing a thorough background check on all mortgage team members that includes a fingerprint check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2010 on new employees, and on existing employees since last year. Because Wells Fargo is an insured depository institution, we are bound by federal law that generally prohibits us from hiring or continuing the employment of any person who we know has a criminal record involving dishonesty or breach of trust.
Wells Fargo denied the employee's termination had anything to do with downsizing.
Quesada was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying, I want my job back. That's where I am right now.