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Frank Dodd and Diversity in the Financial Services Sector

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In the wake of the recent financial crisis, Congress has passed the Frank-Dodd Financial Reform Act. The Act focuses on oversight, and establishes some new committees and councils, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Services Oversight Council has also been created to serve as an early warning detection system for storms brewing in the markets. But there is an aspect of the Act that has largely been overlooked. It mandates that every federal finance agency must establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. According to the Act, the goal is to “ensure equal employment opportunity and racial, ethnic and gender diversity.” At least twenty federal agencies are expected to be affected by this, including the Federal Reserve. Existing offices or diversity programs must be replaced by January 20, 2011. Many think that this measure will eventually extend to private financial institutions. Given the increased scrutiny placed on the financial services sector lately, employers in this space cannot afford to ignore the risk of employment practices litigation. In this installment of The Proactive Employer podcast, we’ll be discussing the implications of the Frank-Dodd Financial Reform Act for private financial institutions, and provide some suggestions on managing the risk of employment discrimination claims.

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