WASHINGTON A House Financial Services subcommittee said Thursday it would feature a "whistleblower" at a hearing next week looking into grievances filed by employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Angela Martin, a senior enforcement attorney at the agency, will testify about her case, which concerns allegations of discrimination and retaliation, according to a memorandum sent to members of the House Financial Services Committee.
The subcommittee has also asked Misty Rauci, an independent investigator for Martin's case, and Robert Cauldwell, the president of the CFPB's local chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union, to appear at the April 2 hearing.
"Discrimination and retaliation are unacceptable, and the subcommittee next week will hear from a CFPB whistleblower who has come forward with allegations of discrimination and retaliation that have been confirmed by an independent investigator who was hired by the CFPB," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chairman of the House oversight and investigations subcommittee, in a press release.
The news came the same day that the CFPB said it had declined to send two other officials who were requested to testify. McHenry had specifically asked M. Stacey Bach, the agency's assistant director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Employment, and Liza Strong, the CFPB's director of employee relations, to testify. The two were apparently wanted in connection with Martin's case.
But the CFPB said Thursday that the two officials will not testify because it would interfere with the employee's ongoing claim.
"The bureau will not participate in a public hearing about an individual claim that is the subject of a confidential and ongoing employee grievance resolution process," said Sam Gilford, a spokesman for the agency. "Doing so would violate employees' rights to privacy and due process and would undermine the integrity of the bureau's Equal Employment Opportunity and labor relations processes."
McHenry criticized the agency for not allowing the two employees to testify.
"It's unfortunate and deeply troubling that the CFPB refuses to answer questions about these allegations, particularly when the bureau's grounds for doing so are patently frivolous in light of the fact that their employee is voluntarily appearing to tell her story," said McHenry. "The hearing will go forward, with or without the CFPB's participation."
The hearing stems from a story reported by American Banker on March 6 that looked into racial disparities in employee evaluations and more than 100 grievances filed by employees since August concerning poor reviews and pay equity. The CFPB has since said it was looking at changing the performance evaluation process among other steps to improve internal collaboration at the agency.