SIAP but sounds like there is an internal audit where they are reviewing employee reimbursements submitted. From what I heard people have already been let go. Not sure if this is ongoing or not, but just an FYI
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You and/or your spouse/domestic partner can submit up to $600 of eligible fitness expenses to receive a 50% reimbursement from Fidelity, for a maximum reimbursement of $300 per calendar year. Multiple claims can be filed in a calendar year.
Fitness Reimbursement Form - https://fmrbenefits.com/ManagedContent/Assets/File/1421937028/247%20FitnessReimbForm.pdf
Uhh Id agree with your friends. Why would you go to a company that you know would drop you like that for something this insignificant? There are plenty of other companies to choose from. I wouldn't tell my friends to work at Fidelity.
I’m a current employee at Fidelity and trying to get a family member and also a good friend to apply to Fidelity, they would be a perfect match for the company and they don’t want to because of the ugly perception of how Fidelity has mistreated its current employees and looks like they baited and used them into a trap that devastates their personal and professional life with a punishment that far exceeds the wrong-doing. I literally can’t get any of my job seeking friends to apply after this. It blows their mind a company would fire someone over a benefit, literally a corporate perk, something meant to retain employees. So confused what should I tell them?
Unfortunately the bigger deal is everyone sitting around on YouTube, wasting time at work, sports betting on their phones.
The following thread link below is the main thread covering this subject matter:
This is the most complete picture to date:
Fidelity has blown this way out of proportion in a very bad way...time will tell what comes of it. But here’s the story...
Everything started with a rep in Jacksonville - he helped others get the reimbursement and they split the profit (abusing the system). Certainly some discipline is warranted for that. He was ultimately caught and fired. But he threatened to sue for being singled out and being the only one let go...scared of a legitimate suit, Fidelity starts the audits.
There’s a small group discovered who all submitted the same receipt. Clearly ill intent and again, discipline is warranted. But Fidelity has to cover its a-- and the audits continue. Suddenly everything must be looked at...and it’s not about trying to catch “fraud” anymore. It’s simply about finding anyone who no longer has the computer/device listed on the original receipt submitted for reimbursement.
Did you buy something and then later take it back and exchange for something else? And you didn’t send back the reimbursement money, redo the paperwork, and collect the reimbursement again? You are now guilty. You have violated the (unwritten) policy and you will now be punished.
Real Example: An employee bought a computer and got the reimbursement. Five years later (2018) he gets questioned about his purchase. “Do you have this specific computer still (specific computer and serial number listed on original receipt)?” asks the investigator. Rep answers, “No because I ended up exchanging it for an upgraded model a week after I bought it.” Investigator (somehow) has the return receipt of the original computer. Rep submits verifiable evidence that he did in fact return and exchange for an upgraded model like he said he did (cost more than original purchase). Does it matter? Not at all. He had no chance - once you’re called for questioning you are done. Rep asks employee relations why he was fired. They say, “Did you buy a computer, get a reimbursement, return the device, and not refund the reimbursement to Fidelity?” “Yes but I bought something a little more expensive, I even submitted verifiable proof! And I don’t remember there being any reimbursement procedure for a return/exchange.” Employee relations answer - “You returned the device. That is against the policy. Therefore, we decided to let you go.”
There are many examples like this one. And that “policy?” Yeah, doesn’t exist in writing. But that doesn’t seem to matter. You can ask Fidelity to send you the policy and they say they will but it never comes through. Again, this isn’t about finding those reps who legitimately tried to cheat the system. Fidelity could care less - it’s all about covering their a--. If you made any sort of return then circumstances didn’t matter - you were considered guilty and were terminated.
But here’s the worst part. For those reps terminated, that was only the beginning. After termination Fidelity files the U5 with FINRA and marks “fraud or wrongful taking of property.” Now you have this permanent black mark on your record. Want to get another job in the industry? You'll have to convince other firms to hire you despite that negative mark (assuming you even get the opportunity to interview and make it that far). But that’s not all. Shortly after the U5 filing, FINRA comes knocking. You are now under investigation. You either comply with their demands and complete the potentially rigorous investigation, or you don’t and will likely be barred from the industry.
So this is what it’s come down to. Hundreds of Fidelity employees - some innocent and some not so innocent - all lumped together and fired with not a care in the world by Fidelity. I’m sure Fidelity has its (selfish) reasons, but one thing is clear - the lives and future careers of the many employees caught up in this (some who’ve given many years at Fidelity and performed extremely well) mean absolutely nothing.
potential for litigation:
you can hyperlink like this (put the @ sign before the thread id): @SUABhNe
or old fashioned
Fidelity really is a great company to be working. It would be highly admirable if they could take a step back and look at this reasonably and allow employees to come forward in an environment that’s not so hostile. If they allowed employees to come forward explain and repay it, slap on the wrist, or some level of internal discipline it would be much preferred than what’s happening. This is creating unnecessary drama, fear, media attention and litigation expenses. The employees are losing a good company they love and the employer is losing years of investment and development in organically promoted and well trained employees.
I fully understand their viewpoint here, it can be seen as bad employees abusing a gift; however, in other cases this is very much not a big deal. For instance I returned items to one retailer because they were clearly not new (used and returned) so I sent hem back and purchased the exact ones from a different retailer. I’m other instances making a purchase for something like a Fitbit and then returning it doesn’t mean the money didn’t go toward the intended health benefit. Often buying a known qualifying expense and then returning it is the easiest way. What normally happens is your dealing with acclaris incompetence, long holds, differing answers on what is allowed and then you finally make a purchase but you have to wait and find out weeks later if it was qualified when you finally hear back from acclaris through a letter in the mail with some rigid accepted or decline response. And getting a service company to write a letter for you to say you’ve spent money at a gym or yoga studio is equally inconvenient and time consuming and riddled with unknowns whether it is qualified or not. Again you buy a service and then only find out if it’s qualified weeks later? This is supposed to be a benefit, not a termination trap. I love Fidelity and everything they stand for. I wanted to work out my career at this company and promote it to everyone I know. I was and am a motivated and hard working employee, in good standing, not a blemish on my record. And here as I write this I still don’t want to work at another company. I would find it very admirable if Fidelity would approach this with care. Every employee that’s made a mistake and cut a corner on a reimbursement program isn’t a thief. And guaranteed that at this point no employee ever will cut a corner again and they should all have a renewed appreciation of this. I’m pretty discouraged, I’ve always defended Fidelity as the best employer I could ask for and now because of a small mistake to a benefit program I feel like my career is ruined. I would do anything this company asked of me. Is there no compassion for someone in this situation? Fidelity - I hope you see that people love this company and not to group everyone together. I didn’t see this as malicious, not ever. This was innocent. To think that an employee doesn’t have $600 worth of fitness expenses in a year would be nearly impossible. The intent here is to have happy and healthy employees, that is a accomplished with the program, and it is appreciated.
- a deeply saddened and highly regarded employee
potential for litigation:
you can hyperlink like this (put the @ sign before the thread id): @SUABhNe
or old fashioned
There are a few threads regarding Fidelity's mass ongoing firings over the computer and fitness reimbursement programs. It seems that there was another thread where some were discussing potential for litigation. Fidelity looks to have disabled access to that thread today from Google searches. For your convenience, that thread URL is provided below if you are interested in its content:
Why did it take them so long? Didn’t the computer program end in 2016?
Multiple associates have been let go in Salt Lake City this week for violations relating to the computer reimbursement program
I personally know three different reps who were let go as part of reimbursement layoff, and all of them returned and repurchased a different computer for the same cost or more, just didn't bother resubmitting paperwork . Fidelity didn't care, and let them go anyway. These were all top performers, and two of them Fidelity lifers. Such a stupid thing over not resubmitting paperwork. Just looking for any excuse to layoff and not pay severance I guess.
Yhey should be fired. Cheapskates.
I guess this is why they got rid of the computer reimbursement program then. It still seems odd that they would be able to fire someone for that. As the below poster mentioned, the fitness reimbursement doesn't say a word about returns and I'd imagaine both policies were written similarly. Just sounds like they could open themselves up for a lawsuit or something
They used their counsel (lawyers) and called the retailers. They presented the receipts to me showing I bought the computer, then returned it. If the rep was licensed it’s then put as ‘fraud and taking of property’ on the U5. There’s another thread below on this too.
Not sure what the original policy for computer reimbursements said, but I do know that Fidelity made changes to the policy after the fact and after the first people were fired in February.
I know people who were fired for both computer reimbursement and fitness reimbursement. Not sure how they went about it, but in both of their cases you can go to that retailer's website and simply put in order number and will give you the status.
Not sure how you check something like that. But I guess they were calling the actual retailer to see if an item was returned? Even if an item was returned, how would they know it wasn't exchanged for something else. Seems like there are gray areas that wouldn't be accounted for....
Yeah I heard the same thing. Several people let go for the computer reimbursement program. I don't know how Fidelity would be able to determine if you returned an item though. I looked at the fine print on the fitness reimbursement and no where does it mention anything about returns. I don't know if they are looking at fitness reimbursements or not, but maybe the computer reimbursement program had a clause about returns.