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CFPB Employee Review Disparities Go Beyond Race

Posted in CFPB General

The American Banker reported this week that the CFPB released an internal report that shows the disparities in employee evaluations on which we previously reported go beyond race. The report showed “statistically significant disparities” based on race, age, CFPB office location, length of employment, and participation in the CFPB’s union.

In response to the findings in this latest report, the CFPB announced that it is scrapping the current system and will pay most agency employees as if they had received the highest rating available at the time of their evaluations. This remediation plan is estimated to cost upwards of $5 million. In an internal email to all employees, Director Cordray acknowledged the disparities, stating that they “indicate a systemic disadvantage to various categories of employees that persisted across divisions, offices, and other employee characteristics.”

This new report goes further than the 2013 internal agency report that was released in response to the American Banker article that first made these ratings disparities public. The report found that the average white employee received a 3.94 rating, compared to 3.81 for Asian employees, 3.69 for Hispanics, and 3.63 for blacks. In addition, employees under the age of 40 received an average rating of 3.94, compared to those over 40, who received a rating of 3.78 on average. The disparity was even greater for employees that participated in a union. Non-unionized employees received an average rating of 4.04, while unionized employees received a 3.79 rating on average.

The report comes as the House Committee on Financial Services is holding another hearing entitled “Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Part Two” on Wednesday. Two representatives from the CFPB, including Ms. M. Stacey Bach, the Assistant Director of the CFPB’s Office of Equal Opportunity Employment, and a representative from the National Treasury Employees Union are slated to testify.