CFPB Agrees to Settle Discrimination Suit Filed by Agency Employees
Class action suit covers ten-year period beginning in 2011.
The CFPB has reached a tentative $6 million settlement with 85 Black and Hispanic employees, who had alleged they had been discriminated against by agency officials over an extended period of time.
The settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, does not name the CFPB officials who allegedly discriminated against the employees.
Republican opponents of the CFPB often have made vague references to discrimination allegations at the agency, but never have provided details.
And, as is usually the case, the CFPB did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. However, it covers employees who were employed between February 2011 and April 19, 2022.
That time period spans the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations.
Inside the Settlement
Attorneys’ fees and other fees would be paid out of the $6 million settlement, which still must receive final approval in court. Employees who would benefit from the settlement must be given the opportunity to review and comment on the agreement.
“If approved, the Settlement Fund will rank among the larger employment discrimination settlements of the past several years,” attorneys for the plaintiffs and the CFPB said.
The case is particularly ironic since CFPB Director Rohit Chopra has been trying to allege that discrimination by financial services providers is an unfair, deceptive or abusive act or practice.
The original lawsuits were filed by Heynard Paz-Chow, a Hispanic man, who joined the bureau in 2011 and Carzanna Jones, a Black woman, who joined in 2012.
They filed a proposed Class Action suit in 2018.
Among other things, they contended that “Blacks or African Americans and Hispanics employed as Consumer Response Specialists were subjected to and harmed by the Bureau’s agency-wide discriminatory and retaliatory policies and practices, including paying the Named Plaintiffs lower wages than non-minority employees because of their race or color, and discrimination in other terms and conditions of their employment.”
The settlement also notes that Paz-Chow and Jones are active in the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents CFPB employees. It states that in December 2022, the union and agency officials reached an “Agreement on Compensation Reform Pay Reset.”