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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under fire, part I

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created following the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, there was considerable discussion about whether the bureau should be created at all. Ultimately, the bureau was created, but current reports of discrimination based on gender may have some legislators talking of disbanding the organization.

In a recent congressional hearing, a lawyer from the bureau's enforcement division testified about her personal experiences with gender-based discrimination at the bureau. The lawyer has claimed that not only was she discriminated against because she is a woman, but she also was retaliated against when she filed a complaint.

Because of the politically sensitive nature of the bureau, the ranking member of the House Oversight Subcommittee tried to clarify that the lawyer was not trying to dismantle or weaken the bureau with her testimony. She replied that she wanted her testimony "to be used to weaken managers who are in power who ought not be."

Unfortunately for this lawyer, she says that she had been discriminated against by a fellow employee, but when she filed a complaint, her supervisor then took away some of her responsibilities. Even after an outside investigator was hired and confirmed that the lawyer was retaliated against, the bureau disputed whether the investigator's investigation was accurate.

The lawyer's supervisor has said that her accusations are unfounded, but claims that the evidence that proves his innocence cannot be uncovered because it would be a violation of the lawyer's privacy rights.

Source: Politico, "Employee alleges workplace of discrimination, retaliation at CFPB," MJ Lee, April 21, 2014

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