House subcommittee considers subpoena of CFPB employees

cfpbThe House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will meet on Tuesday to discuss a resolution that would authorize subpoenas of CFPB personnel to require them to testify on allegations of discrimination at the agency.

Earlier last month, reports surfaced that CFPB managers had allegedly ranked minority employees differently in performance reviews used to determine raises and bonuses.

According to the subcommittee, the CFPB “refused” to send witnesses to the hearing to testify in its investigation of the claims. The resolution under consideration would subpoena M. Stacey Bach, the assistant director of the CFPB’s Office of Equal Opportunity Employment; CFPB Director of Employee Relations Liza Strong; and Ben Konop, the executive vice president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents CFPB employees.

A senior enforcement attorney at the CFPB testified at a subcommittee hearing earlier this month that she faced discrimination and retaliation, including reassignment within the CFPB, at the agency after she filed complaints of discrimination.

An external investigator hired by the CFPB to investigate the initial claims said the investigation found that the general environment in the department from which the woman was dismissed “is one of exclusion, retaliation, discrimination, nepotism, demoralization, devaluation and other offensive working conditions which constitute a toxic workplace for many of its employees.”

During her investigation Raucci interviewed numerous CFPB personnel, reportedly fewer than half of whom agreed to go on record about their experiences 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.

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