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EEOC Sues Wells Fargo for Race, Age Discrimination

Financial Company Hired Younger, Less-Qualified White Women for Positions

DETROIT – Wells Fargo Financial Michigan, Inc., (NYSE: WFC), a multi-trillion-dollar financial services company, subjected an employee to discrimination by failing to promote her because of her age and race, the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Case No. 2:10CV13517), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Wells Fargo Financial Michigan subjected Sylvia Bumphus-Passmore, a black employee at the company’s Sterling Heights, Mich., location, to unlawful age and race discrimination by passing her over for promotions to a loan processor position in favor of young white women. When the discriminatory promotions occurred, Bumphus-Passmore had more than 25 years of experience in the banking industry and significantly more experience than the five young white women selected for the positions.

Age and race discrimination violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC seeks injunctive relief enjoining the company from engaging in discriminatory employment practices, as well as monetary relief on behalf of Bumphus-Passmore.

Race discrimination remains the most frequently filed charge with the EEOC. In fiscal year 2009, the EEOC received 22,778 age discrimination charge filings, the second-highest level ever, accounting for 24 percent of its private sector caseload. The EEOC’s age discrimination charge data is available on its web site at

The EEOC is the government agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. Further information about the EEOC is available at