The 36-year-old former manager who once worked at both a Warren and Southfield Chase bank was awarded $370,000 at the conclusion of an arbitration session earlier this month.
In the man’s wrongful termination lawsuit that was filed in federal court in Detroit soon after his firing in July of 2017, the Dearborn resident chronicled what he believed resulted in his dismissal from his job.
He noted that his work as a whistleblower with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on a money laundering case resulted, in part, in his firing. He also alleged that his employer discriminated against him because he is Muslim and Arab-American.
The arbitrator’s final ruling captures how the plaintiff, who’d worked for the bank since 2011, was approached by federal agents in January of 2017. He was asked to cooperate in helping them track large cash transfers that had been initiated at his bank to countries in the Middle East dating back to 2014. He readily cooperated.
Although the JP Morgan Chase’s attorneys tried to insinuate that federal agents made contact with the dismissed bank manager to question him about why the transactions were made from his account, he denied that.
He said that they’d singled him out to serve as their point of contact simply because he was the one who had filed the Suspicious Activity Report. Banks are required by federal law to file this form anytime large financial transactions are made.
The Oakland County arbitrator’s report doesn’t go into any further details about their investigation into the money laundering charges nor the racial and religious discrimination that the man reportedly endured.
In a press release issued by the plaintiff’s attorney on Feb. 1, he said that his client’s career working in the banking industry was cut short by him doing the right thing and reporting a bank customer’s suspicious large cash transfers from Michigan to others abroad.
One of the reasons that federal and state laws exist to protect whistleblowers is to encourage them to speak up and report illegal activity. Detroit workers who are retaliated against or fired from their job simply for reporting unlawful acts should consult with a whistleblower attorney who can advise them of the next steps that they should take in their cases.