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Discrimination, retaliation and intimidation alleged at CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been accused of retaliation and workplace discrimination by an employee, and the accusations reveal a workplace that is fractured and hostile. According to the employee, who is a lawyer in the CFPB's enforcement division, there are many people at the Bureau who don't want to speak out against their employer, even though they may have something legitimate to complain about.

According to the employee, the workplace has fostered an atmosphere of retaliation and intimidation, which deters people from complaining. In addition, there are some terrible references within the company to "the plantation" or the "cesspool" -- an area of the company where a lot of African-American employees work.

The employee making the allegations says that people from "the plantation" find it very difficult to be promoted or get new opportunities. There are also separate rumors that the CFPB has been flawed from the get-go, with the leadership looking to destabilize and "weaken" the agency. It's a bizarre amalgamation of allegations and actions that make the CFPB look dysfunctional and downright hostile to some of its employees.

Employee discrimination is a terribly offensive act that leaves an employee -- or many employees -- embarrassed and upset about their treatment, leading to a lawsuit. Every employee should be treated with respect and they should have the chance to make the most of their employment. If, by a matter of policy, certain groups of employees are treated differently because of any number of factors -- race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation -- then the offended employee could seek a discrimination lawsuit.

Source: Politico, "Employee alleges workplace of discrimination, retaliation at CFPB," MJ Lee, April 2, 2014

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