CFPB Employees’ Union Raises Pay Discrimination Issue

Does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have a racism problem? A report issued by the union representing employees at the regulator claims that Black employees are paid, on average, $20,000 less than their white counterparts, according to a published report. The union is calling on Rohit Chopra, who has been nominated to be the CFPB’s next director, to address and fix the problem.

This is not the first time that such a problem has been noted at the CFPB. Back in 2018, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the Bureau alleging it discriminated against minority and female employees by giving them fewer promotions and paying them less than their white male counterparts.

Coincidentally enough, a bill was introduced in Congress last week to curb salaries at the Bureau and bring them more in line with the salary structures at other agencies of the federal government.

The problems can be traced back to the rapid growth of the Bureau following its inception a decade ago. New employees were hired according to the terms they set, according to the report, and the agency has never undertaken a systematic assessment of its compensation policies. The agency and its union have agreed to conduct a review of salaries to create more structure and consistency. That process, though, is not going smoothly and not moving quickly, according to the report. The union wrote a blog post earlier this month saying the CFPB was stalling the review process.

According to the report, the CFPB has never proposed firing a white male, only white females and minorities.

Union president Tony Reardon said he “is hopeful that the CFPB’s new leadership will work with us to use this opportunity to close the pay gaps for Black, Hispanic and Native American employees.”

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