A Republican member of the board for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a stern letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Tuesday, saying that allegations of rampant employee abuse and discrimination by the agency should be met with a thorough investigation.
Addressed to the CFBP’s general counsel Meredith Fuchs, the statement obtained by The Daily Caller was issued by Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow and highlighted accusations that the Bureau has facilitated a severely hostile work environment and were brought before a Congressional hearing on the matter.
“Ms. Martin and Ms. Raucci [two witnesses who spoke before Congress] both testified that the discriminatory and retaliatory treatment endured by Ms. Martin was not an isolated incident,” the statement read. “They claim that invidious discrimination is pervasive, and that those who report being discriminated against are subject to retaliation.”
Kirsanow is especially concerned that the agency that oversees financial transactions possibly bases its performance reviews on the race of the employee.
“I am concerned that this is not a case of true disparate impact, or only a case of true disparate impact, but rather may be an indication of invidious disparate treatment on the basis of race,” Kirsanow continued.
In response to these allegations of racial discrimination that were revealed back in March by the American Banker, the CFPB’s director Richard Cordray initiated a new policy that eliminated employee reviews and automatically gave all employees the highest rating possible — regardless of performance — in an attempt to avoid future claims of prejudiced assessments.
This development was apparently not enough to deter Kirsanow from initiating an investigation of the CFBP’s practices to force the agency to come clean on its record.
“The Commission on Civil Rights is charged with investigating alleged deprivations of civil rights,” Kirsanow stated. “Given the troubling allegations made against the Bureau, it is my duty to investigate the truth of the claims made by Ms. Martin and Ms. Raucci, as well as the questions raised by the statistics cited by the American Banker.”
A CFBP spokesman told TheDC that they had received the commissioner’s letter and that its new employee policy is intended to resolve the issues surrounding the troubled bureau.