What Barbara Carroll says should be a quick trip turned into an almost three-hour ordeal after a Wells Fargo branch in Fort Lauderdale accused the 78-year-old black woman of counterfeiting.
Carroll, a doctor of criminal justice and 17 years assistant bank manager, filed a lawsuit last week against the country's third-largest commercial bank, claiming racial discrimination.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman, Michelle Palomino, told The Washington Post that the bank is investigating Carroll's claim. "Wells Fargo opposes discrimination of any kind," Palomino said in an email. "We take Dr. Carroll's claims very seriously."
In November 2017, Carroll said, she went to a bank branch in Fort Lauderdale to collect a $ 140 check "a standard corporate policy for non-clients," Palomino said.
After confirming the check with signature and fingerprint, Carroll told the post office, the cashier, who was white, turned her back and turned over the passport and the driver after waiting for 30 minutes on a couch in the back of the building Carroll said she knew something was wrong.
Carroll told the post office she was going to the counter to ask about the delay.
Frustrated at the wait, Caroll asked the cashier for her identification ion and test. She refused and picked up the manager, Carroll said. The manager also refused, according to Carroll, to return their belongings and informed them that they had called the police, refusing to explain why they had done so.
Carroll told the post office that she was disturbed by the experience. As a former bank clerk, she said she thought the manager's behavior was irregular and inappropriate.
In the following days, Carroll filed a formal complaint with the Bank's office. Carroll told the post office that a representative had told her in a telephone conversation that the bank branch, which is in a wealthy white area, is notorious for bad treatment of black customers. Carroll told the post office that Wells Fargo had apologized and put the two workers into "sensitivity training". Wells Fargo declined to confirm that they were in training.
"I was humiliated," said Carroll, who said she thinks this happened because she's black. "I am a human being, and I was not treated as I should have been."
"We always want to make sure that we give our customers the right to protect against fraud and take extra precautions to protect them," said Palomino, the spokeswoman.
Carroll looks for the complaint an indefinite amount of money. She asked a jury to decide how much to forgive.
"It's not really about damage," said Carroll's lawyer, Yechezkel Rodal, to the post office. "It's more about raising awareness and bringing Wells Fargo to justice."