A federal judge gave final approval to a $6 million settlement between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 85 minority employees over alleged discrimination committed by the federal agency. Judge Beryl A. Howell gave final approval on Thursday to the settlement, which was proposed in September 2023, and distributed the $6 million among the “Black, African American, and/or Hispanic” employees who alleged discrimination in exchange for releasing their claims against the agency. Howell said the plaintiffs had “enormous courage” for bringing their claims against a federal agency and also approved $50,000 service awards for the lead plaintiffs at the hearing, according to Law360. “Suing a federal agency has, to my mind, even greater risk,” Howell said at the hearing. “I do think that takes enormous courage.”

The lawsuit was filed in September 2018 against the agency and its then-acting director, Mick Mulvaney, and alleged that policies in place at the agency “lower pay and performance appraisals and fewer promotions for racial minorities and women.”

“This lawsuit is brought by Plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and all other minority employees and women who work or worked as Consumer Response Specialists and have been subjected to and harmed by the Bureau’s agency-wide pattern or practice of discrimination and retaliation and discriminatory policies and practices,” the initial lawsuit said. “This action seeks class-wide injunctive relief to end CFPB’s entrenched racial and gender discrimination and retaliation and make-whole relief for class members.” To read more click here.