On June 6, 2022, Reuters published an article entitled Wells Fargo Pauses Diverse Slate Hiring Policy after Reports of Fake Job Interviews.
NEW YORK, Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), Unity Software, Inc. (NYSE: U), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Outset Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OM). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC)
Class Period: February 24, 2021 – June 9, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: August 29, 2022
In 2020, Wells Fargo expanded its so-called “Diverse Search Requirement,” also referred to as a diverse slate hiring policy, requiring that at least 50% of interview candidates must represent a historically underrepresented group with respect to at least one diversity dimension (including race/ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ, veterans, and people with disabilities) for most posted roles in the U.S. with total direct compensation greater than $100,000 per year. In addition, at least one interviewer on the hiring panel must represent a historically underrepresented group with respect to at least one diversity dimension.
On May 19, 2022, the New York Times published an article entitled “At Wells Fargo, a Quest to Increase Diversity Leads to Fake Job Interviews.” Citing discussions with “seven current and former Wells Fargo employees,” including Joe Bruno, a former executive in the Company’s wealth management division, the article reported, in relevant part, that “[f]or many open positions, employees would interview a ‘diverse’ candidate,” but that “often, the so-called diverse candidate would be interviewed for a job that had already been promised to someone else.” The article further reported that Mr. Bruno was fired after “complain[ing] to his bosses” about the practice.
On this news, Wells Fargo’s common stock price fell $-.44 per share, or 1.04%, over two trading sessions, closing at $41.67 per share on May 20, 2022.
On June 6, 2022, Reuters published an article entitled “Wells Fargo Pauses Diverse Slate Hiring Policy after Reports of Fake Job Interviews.” The article reported that “Wells Fargo… is pausing a hiring policy that requires recruiters to interview a diverse pool of candidates, after the New York Times reported such interviews were often fake and conducted even though the job had already been promised to someone else.” The same article also reported that “[t]he bank also plans to conduct a review of its diverse slate guidelines, Chief Executive Officer Charles Scharf told staff on Monday, according to a memo seen by Reuters.”
Then, on June 9, 2022, the New York Times published an article entitled “Federal Prosecutors Open Criminal Inquiry of Wells Fargo’s Hiring Practices.” The article reported that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Wells Fargo violated federal laws by conducting fake job interviews in order to meet the Company’s Diverse Search Requirement. The article also revealed that, since the New York Times’ May 19, 2022 article focusing on the bank’s wealth management business, “another 10 current and former employees have shared stories about how they were subject to fake interviews, or conducted them, or saw paperwork documenting the practice,” and that “sham interviews occurred across multiple business lines, including its mortgage servicing, home lending and retail banking operations.”
That same day, Wells Fargo issued a press release entitled “Wells Fargo Response to New York Times Article,” which confirmed that “[e]arlier this week, the [C]ompany temporarily paused the use of its diverse slate guidelines,” and that, “[d]uring this pause, the [C]ompany is conducting a review so that hiring managers, senior leaders and recruiters fully understand how the guidelines should be implemented – and so we have confidence that our guidelines live up to their promise.”
Following these disclosures, Wells Fargo’s common stock price fell $3.68 per share, or 8.62%, over the following two trading sessions, closing at $38.99 per share on June 13, 2022.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Wells Fargo had misrepresented its commitment to diversity in the Company’s workplace; (ii) Wells Fargo conducted fake job interviews in order to meet its Diverse Search Requirement; (iii) the foregoing conduct subjected Wells Fargo to an increased risk of regulatory and/or governmental scrutiny and enforcement action, including criminal charges; (iv) all of the foregoing, once revealed, was likely to negatively impact Wells Fargo’s reputation; and (v) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
For more information on the Wells Fargo class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/WFC
Unity Software, Inc. (NYSE: U)
Class Period: March 5, 2021 – May 10, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: September 5, 2022
Unity creates and operates an interactive real-time 3D content platform. The Company’s platform provides software solutions to create, run, and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. One of the tools on the Company’s product platform is the Audience Pinpointer, a user acquisition service which uses real-time user valuation at the time of an ad request.
On May 10, 2022, after the market closed, Unity announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2022. The Company also reduced its fiscal 2022 guidance, citing “challenges with monetization products.” Specifically, Unity stated that “a fault in [Unity’s] platform . . . resulted in reduced accuracy for [its] Audience Pinpointer tool, a revenue expensive issue given that [the] Pinpointer tool experienced significant growth post the IDFA changes.”
On this news, Unity’s stock price fell $17.83 per share, or approximately 37%, to close at $30.30 per share on May 11, 2022.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) deficiencies in Unity’s product platform reduced the accuracy of the Company’s machine learning technology; (ii) the foregoing was likely to have a material negative impact on the Company’s revenues; (iii) accordingly, Unity had overstated the Company’s commercial and/or financial prospects for 2022; (iv) as a result, the Company was likely to have to reduce its fiscal 2022 guidance; and (v) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
For more information on the Unity Software class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/U
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)
Class Period: July 30, 2021 – April 28, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: September 5, 2022
Amazon is a global technology company with multiple business lines including, among others, e-commerce services and distribution, website development and hosting, inventory and supply chain management, and fulfillment and logistics. Prior to the onset of the COVID pandemic in early 2020, a key priority for Amazon was increasing its ability to provide its e-commerce customers with shortened delivery times, including same-day delivery. To meet that goal, Amazon invested significant capital to aggressively expand its infrastructure and fulfillment networks.
When the COVID pandemic (and related lockdowns and other restrictions) hit in early 2020, consumer demand for goods purchased through Amazon’s e-commerce business skyrocketed. To meet that increased demand, Amazon continued expanding its infrastructure and fulfillment network capacity. Indeed, between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021, Amazon more than doubled its warehouse, distribution, and data center space, expanding from 192 million square feet to 387.1 million square feet over that time.
The truth emerged on April 28, 2022, when Amazon reported a $3.8 billion net quarterly loss—its first reported net quarterly loss since 2015. After months of falsely representing that Amazon’s expansion of its e-commerce fulfillment network and infrastructure was necessary and appropriate to meet both short-term and long-term customer demand, Defendants disclosed that day that Amazon was “no longer chasing physical or staffing capacity.” Defendants disclosed $6 billion of “incremental costs,” including $2 billion due to “overcapacity” in Amazon’s “fulfillment and transportation network.” Defendants further disclosed that they “expect[ed] the impacts of this . . . to persist for the next several quarters as we grow into this capacity.” As a result of these disclosures, Amazon’s share price declined precipitously, to close at $2,891.93 on April 29, 2022.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made numerous false and misleading statements to investors concerning Amazon’s continued investments in expanding infrastructure and fulfillment network capacity. Specifically, Defendants repeatedly assured investors that the Company’s infrastructure and fulfillment investments were driven not just by recent increased demand related to the pandemic, but also “long-term trends” and “strong multiyear demand.” In reality, the Defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that the Company’s infrastructure and fulfillment network investments substantially outpaced demand, and that those investments were a massive, self-imposed, undue drain on Amazon’s financial condition. Indeed, contrary to Defendants’ public statements during the Class Period, by July 2021, Defendants had already implemented cutbacks to Amazon’s fulfillment capacity without disclosing that critical information to investors. As a result of Defendants’ misrepresentations and omissions, Amazon’s common stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period.
For more information on the Amazon class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/AMZN
Outset Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: OM)
Class Period: September 15, 2020 – June 13, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: September 6, 2022
Outset Medical is a medical technology company focused on kidney dialysis, the primary treatment for acute and chronic kidney failure. The Company’s flagship product is the Tablo Hemodialysis System (“Tablo”), a dialysis machine that purifies tap water and then artificially purifies and removes toxins from the blood of patients suffering from kidney failure.
The truth began to emerge on May 5, 2022, when the Company announced disappointing results for the first quarter of 2022, which analysts attributed, inter alia, to the untested nature of Tablo in the home setting. In response to this disclosure, and as the market digested this news, the price of Outset Medical common stock declined more than 40% over the three trading days that followed, from a closing price of $39.94 per share on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, to a closing price of $23.06 per share on Monday, May 9, 2022.
Then, after the markets closed on June 13, 2022, Outset Medical announced that the FDA had forced the Company to hold all shipments of Tablo for use in the home until Tablo received proper regulatory clearance. During an “FDA Review Call” held that day with analysts, the Defendants acknowledged the “ship hold” had already been in place for weeks before investors were provided this material information, and that as a result of the shipment hold, the Company was “suspending our prior full-year and long-term guidance.” On this news, the price of Outset Medical stock fell an additional 33%, from a closing price of $20.41 per share on June 13, 2022, to a closing price of $13.46 per share on June 14, 2022.
Throughout the Class Period, Outset Medical touted that Tablo can “serve as a dialysis clinic on wheels” that had been “cleared by the [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration [(the “FDA”)] for use in the hospital, clinic or home setting” under Section 510(k) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “FDCA”). Devices used by non-professionals outside of a clinical setting and that can present serious health consequences like Tablo are subject to heightened scrutiny by the FDA, including post-market surveillance studies pursuant to the FDCA. While performing further regulatory studies during the Class Period, the Company assured investors that it was conducting the studies “in accordance with the FDA approved protocol,” which required an appropriate demonstration of “real-world” human testing given that the device would be used at home by non-professionals.
The Class Action alleges that, during the Class Period, Defendants misled investors and/or failed to disclose that (1) Defendants had “continuously made improvements and updates to Tablo over time since its original clearance” that required an additional 510(k) application; (2) as a result, the Company could not conduct a human factors study on a cleared device in accordance with FDA protocols; (3) the Company’s inability to conduct the human factors study subjected the Company to the likelihood of the FDA imposing a “shipment hold” and marketing suspension, leaving the Company unable to sell Tablo for home use; and (4) as a result, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
For more information on the Outset Medical class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/OM
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