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Appeals court backs Wells Fargo in dime-fraud, age discrimination suit

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Appeals court backs Wells Fargo in dime-fraud, age discrimination suit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed a lower court's summary judgement that dismissed an age discrimination suit filed against Wells Fargo Bank NA.

The Wells Fargo & Co. unit had fired Richard Eggers in 2012 after a new background check system at the bank discovered that Eggers had been convicted of fraud. Eggers, who was born in 1944, sued the bank, saying that Wells Fargo's policies disproportionately screened out older applicants and employees. According to Eggers' original complaint, the fraud charge was for inserting "a dime-shaped cardboard cutout into a laundry machine" in 1963.

Wells Fargo complied with a federal employment rule that bars banks from hiring people with criminal histories, the appellate court's opinion noted, adding that Eggers failed to provide any statistical evidence to show that Wells Fargo's policies had a disparate impact on older workers. The opinion noted that Wells Fargo offered Eggers leave time to obtain a waiver that would allow him to be employed and offered to re-hire him once he received a waiver.