Bipartisan Judiciary members request probe into gender discrimination allegations at FBI academy

Bipartisan Judiciary members request probe into gender discrimination allegations at FBI academy
© Greg Nash

Lawmakers from both parties on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday requested that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) inspector general probe gender discrimination allegations at the FBI’s training academy. 

Judiciary Chairman  (D-N.Y.), ranking member (R-Ga.) and Reps. (D-Calif.) and (R-Texas) wrote a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting an investigation into the FBI’s training and selection practices for new agents. 

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Their letter specifically cites a lawsuit filed in May that alleges women have been “sexually harassed, subjected to a hostile work environment and outdated gender stereotypes, constructively discharged, forced to resign under pressure or who perceived that continuing in the training would be a futile gesture, suffered retaliation, and/or suffered other types of harassment in whole or in part because of their gender since April 10, 2015.” 

The suit also says that in many cases, women of color and disabled women are “excessively singled out for adverse treatment,” according to the letter. 

The suit said that more than 100 women may have been subject to the alleged treatment. 

“If true, such conduct cannot be tolerated,” the lawmakers wrote. “The selection process employed by the FBI must be free from discrimination on the basis of factors such as gender and race, and individuals hired to these important positions should reflect the diversity of our country.”

The Hill has reached out to DOJ for comment. 

The FBI said in a statement that it could not comment on litigation, but that it is “committed to fostering a work environment where all of our employees are valued and respected.”

The agency noted that its onboard average of female special agents is 20 percent and that so far this fiscal year its special agent Basic Field Training Course was 32 percent female. 

–Updated at 4:24 p.m.

Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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