We entrust banks with an incredible amount of personal information, and we expect that information to remain personal, private and secure; and we expect bank employees to have the highest standards when it comes to keeping our personal information private. We certainly would not want any bank, or any bank employee to use our personal information to hack into our accounts and steal our money, our property, our identities. We further would not want banks to knowingly hire anyone with a criminal record. However, there is, and must be, a vast and fundamental difference between a bank hiring someone with a suspicious, and recent, criminal record and hiring someone who did commit a crime 40 years ago, and has atoned and made up for that very distant, very much in the past, mistake. Yolanda Quesada was fired from her position at Wells Fargo Bank over a shoplifting incident 40 years ago. That incident came up during a background check conducted by the bank. And while it is not stated how long she worked at the bank, they obviously hired her before knowing about her past criminal record, which means she must have been, based on her other merits, someone Wells Fargo found would be an asset to their bank. Why would they, now, after they had hired her, and for however long she has worked there, presumably contributing something of a positive nature to the bank, fire her over something that happened during the Nixon Administration? This reprehensible act (if there is no further evidence against Quesada to show just cause for having fired her) needs to be challenged before it happens again. People who have committed crimes, paid their debts to society and have rejoined society have a Constitutional right not to be retried for those crimes. Businesses certainly have a right to not hire people based on specific criminal acts committed (murder, rape, pedophilia and crimes of that nature and magnitude). But businesses also need to show some restraint in their firing practices, especially in dealing with employees who have committed crimes decades ago. Or – how else are people who have committed crimes supposed to rejoin society if they always have their criminal record hanging around their necks? And – if they cannot, or are unable, to rejoin society, what other alternative is left for them but to return to a life of crime? How does that benefit society?
- Wells Fargo fires employee for ’72 shoplifting conviction (bottomline.msnbc.msn.com)
- Wells Fargo Bails Out S.F. Businesses, Tries to Show Big Banks Aren’t That Bad (blogs.sfweekly.com)