WASHINGTON (3/27/14)--In the wake of allegations of workplace discrimination at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a group of House Financial Services Committee Democrats has asked the inspector generals of the National Credit Union Administration and all the federal financial regulatory agencies to examine the workplace practices of those agencies.
In addition to the NCUA, the requests were sent to the IGs of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve.
The letters ask the IGs to investigate "any employee complaints, formal or informal, related to personal practices, workplace policies and the findings from any employee satisfaction surveys."
If the IG identifies any individual or group within an agency that has shown discriminatory practices or "patterns of unfair or unequal treatment," that IG is asked to recommend appropriate action to address the negative workplace situation, such as "remedial training" or firing the individuals involved in the discriminatory patterns.
Led by Reps. Maxine Waters, of California, and Carolyn Maloney, of New York, the group of eight lawmakers noted that the Dodd-Frank Act established Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at most of the federal financial agencies. Those offices are charged with matters relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities.
The lawmakers' letters noted, however, that a Government Accountability Office report last year concluded that management-level representation of minorities and women among federal financial agencies and the Federal Reserve Banks had not changed substantially from 2007 through 2011.
On April 2, the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations is calling several CFPB officials to testify regarding recent allegations that CFPB's white employees were more likely to get a higher performance rating than minority employees.
"While public attention is currently and justifiably focused on the CFPB, the most recent OMWI reports suggest the disparities impeding internal upward mobility for minorities may be endemic throughout all the agencies regulating the financial services industry," the letters stated.