The CFPB has extended the period for filing comments on its proposed policy statement establishing standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities relating to employment and contracting with third parties.  The new deadline for filing comments is February 7, 2014. 

The proposal, which the CFPB issued jointly with the OCC, Fed, FDIC, NCUA and SEC, was developed by the CFPB’s and other agencies’ Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI).  The Dodd-Frank Act directed the CFPB, OCC, Fed, FDIC, NCUA and SEC to establish an OMWI and required each agency’s OMWI to develop assessment standards for the entities regulated by the agency.            

The proposal contemplates that regulated entities will use the standards to conduct self-assessments.  As we have observed, these assessments could involve a substantial amount of work for regulated entities.  In addition, because the self-assessments could be potentially discoverable by private plaintiffs in fair lending and fair employment litigation, it will be prudent for regulated entities to conduct the self-assessments with the assistance of legal counsel.