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Washington Times picks up on discrimination, retaliation allegations at CFPB

Media recounts allegations from Congressional, GAO investigations

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The mainstream nonfinancial press is picking up on an underreported story that HousingWire has been covering since March.

The Washington Times on Wednesday published a well-reported, well-written, detailed account of the allegations of racial discrimination, retaliation, mismanagement and hostility at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Here's a taste:

America’s newest federal agency, charged with regulating financial institutions to prevent another hostile economic downturn, is having troubles regulating hostilities and discrimination among its own employees.

Evidence gathered by congressional investigators, internal agency documents and Washington Times interviews with workers discloses scores of cases of U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employees seeking protection from racially offensive, sexist or discriminatory behavior, including that:

• A naturalized U.S. citizen, with more than a decade of service with the U.S. government, was called an “f’ing foreigner” by management.

• A department was internally dubbed “the Plantation” because of the number of blacks working in it — all supervised by white managers — without any obvious promotional track or way to get transferred.

• White employees were twice as likely to get the most favorable personnel ratings in employee reviews, as were minorities.

• Managers intimidated and retaliated against employees for voicing complaints or offering an alternative point of view — from denying vacation requests to hiring unqualified friends to supervise jobs and then asking subordinates to train them.

Evidence of discriminatory pay practices in the agency’s own statistics have even resulted in promises by management of emergency pay raises for minority workers to create more parity, the documents show.

HousingWire has been covering this story since March and will continue its coverage, and many of the revelations and accusations to date have been shocking to observers on both side of the political aisle.

Already the CFPB is implementing changes to its management, and reform efforts are in the works at both the internal and Congressional level. 

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