Two new FDIC offices will focus on employee claims of misconduct, discrimination

Both created in wake of workplace culture review findings, employee feedback

Two new independent offices have been created within the federal bank deposit insurance agency to address claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, other forms of interpersonal misconduct, and claims of retaliation, the agency announced Friday.

The offices, created with approval of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board, are called the Office of Professional Conduct (OPC) and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (OEEO). The two offices will be led by new, board-appointed corporate officers who will report directly to the FDIC Board, it said.

The board, the agency said, adopted these changes following feedback from FDIC employees, as well as recommendations in an independent third-party review of the agency’s workplace culture.

Last month’s report on the agency’s workplace culture included criticism of FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg for his lack of temper control, which the report said was a contributing factor to reports of harassment not being adequately addressed by the agency. (The report did not link Gruenberg to harassment.) Gruenberg later said he was willing to step down once a successor has been confirmed. This month, President Joe Biden (D) said he was nominating Christy Goldsmith Romero to replace Gruenberg as a board member and chairman.

In Friday’s release, the FDIC said the new OPC and OEEO will have separate functions because each must operate under distinct sets of law and policy.

It said the OPC will intake, investigate, and report on complaints of harassment and interpersonal misconduct, and will determine and enforce discipline against anyone violating the FDIC’s anti-harassment or anti-retaliation policies. The office’s work will be driven by the agency’s Anti-Harassment Program Directive and will serve as a single point of entry for employee complaints of harassment and other interpersonal misconduct, it said.

The OEEO, it said, will intake, investigate, and report complaints of discrimination under the laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The OEEO will operate under several statutes enforced by the EEOC by serving as a single point of entry for employment discrimination claims, it said.

FDIC Board of Directors Creates Independent Office of Professional Conduct and Office of Equal Employment Opportunity