House hears testimony from witnesses on alleged discrimination at CFPB

cfpbThe House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heard testimony from witnesses on Tuesday alleging that the CFPB has engaged in a culture of discrimination and retaliation against its employees.

Last month, reports surfaced that CFPB managers had allegedly ranked employees of different races differently in performance reviews used to determine raises and bonuses.

Angela Martin, a senior enforcement attorney at the CFPB and a board member of the CFPB’s employees’ union, testified during the hearing that she experienced retaliation dating back to 2012 and that she and her colleagues had suffered “at the hands of inexperienced, unaccountable managers.”

“I am glad this hearing is being held because, based on my observations at the Bureau, I have concluded that the Bureau is sorely in need of effective oversight, and that Bureau management needs to be held accountable, particularly with regards to its internal management practices,” Martin said.

Misty Raucci, an independent investigator hired by the CFPB to investigate Martin’s claims, testified that her investigation revealed retaliation against Martin by management after she filed her complaint.

Additionally, according to Raucci, fewer than half of the individuals interviewed during the course of her investigation agreed to go on record for fear of retaliation.

“The corrosive environment of the CFPB workplace was engendered by the bureau’s perpetual failure to uphold its own EEO policies,” Raucci said in her report.

Three other witnesses from the CFPB including Robert Cauldwell, a CFPB employee and head of the employee union; Liza Strong, the director of employee relations; and M. Stacey Bach, the assistant director of the CFPB’s Office of Equal Opportunity Employment, were also invited to testify at the hearing, but committee members said the agency refused to allow them to testify.

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