Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage is under scrutiny from both state and county health officials in the wake of complaints about the company’s handling of COVID-19, a Detroit TV station is reporting.
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.
“MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said.
And the Oakland County Health Department has also received numerous complaints about UWM, leaving health officials concerned amid the county’s soaring infection rate.
“The test positivity rate in Oakland County is 25.5%. It’s the highest it’s ever been,” reports county spokesperson Bill Mullan.
Several former UWM employees have told the TV station they are very concerned about how the company, which already has a reputation for harsh treatment of its workers, is leaving people exposed to the virus.
“What are we supposed to do now – we don’t have anything in place to protect us,” the former employee said. “We’ve seen 10 to 12 people at one time – just not in the office for a few days, and then we find out it’s because they got sick – they’re in contact with someone who had COVID – they actually have COVID. That should automatically be a red alert – hey we need to put something back in place, to make sure people are safe.”
UWM has faced previous complaints from former employees about how the nation’s second-largest mortgage lender treats its workers. Last year a former account executive filed a lawsuit alleging the company cheated her and other workers out of overtime pay by routinely forcing hourly workers to stay on the job more than 40 hours a week but not pay overtime.
And some employees complained when UWM CEO Mat Ishbia announced his company would be paying a $6,000 stipends to all 133 Michigan State University men’s basketball and football players this school year, spending millions of dollars on college athletes. Some argued that money should go to benefit workers. “Welp, that’s where all that money went. [Expletive] UWM,” one employee posted on social media.
As the Omicron variant has overwhelmed Michigan and the rest of the Upper Midwest, the former employee says UWM workers just want to be able to work remotely. “A lot of people are saying – send us home – bring back the mask mandate – make them verify they don’t have Covid before they come back in this office,” the employee told Fox 2 Detroit.
Ishbia, on the other hand, has made no secret he wants his workers back in the office, not working from home. “Sitting in pajamas with a power shirt — that’s not what people want to do long-term,” Ishbia told reporters. “And if you are one of those people — that’s just not a great fit for us — and that’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with that. We just know who we want, to be part of our family.”