HFSC eyes alleged CFPB discrimination

March 31, 2014 - The House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on allegations that CFPB employees have faced discrimination and retaliation based on race.

The hearing was prompted by reports published in American Banker that cited a pattern of ranking white employees higher than minority employees, as well as accusations of a hostile work environment. Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Reps. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., wrote CFPB Director Richard Cordray earlier this month to request records of employee performance reviews. CFPB declined to testify at the hearing.

In the wake of the accusations, nine Democratic members of the subcommittee have written the inspectors general at CFPB and all other financial regulators about personnel practices and the possibility of unfair or discriminatory practices against minority and women employees. NCUA is among the agencies addressed in the letters.

NAFCU will monitor several other hearings on the Hill this week, including the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the rising risk of data security breaches on Wednesday. NAFCU will also monitor the scheduled mark-up of the “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013,” S. 1720, by the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Thursday. NAFCU has been working in support of patent reform legislation, including House-passed H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act,” introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and two separate bills from Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would help discourage patent trolls from filing frivolous lawsuits.