Black employees at the U.S. Mint say they feel threatened and marginalized, according to The New York Times, which cited an internal report that found the agency has an ingrained culture of racist behavior.
Staff members at the Treasury Department agency felt “a lack of psychological safety” and described a workplace with “microaggressions” and “implicit bias,” according to a draft of the report, produced by independent human resources firm TI Verbatim Consulting, the Times wrote Friday.
The Mint did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The findings come despite outward signs of progress at the agency. Just weeks ago, Ventris C. Gibson was nominated by the Biden administration to become the agency’s first Black director, and the Mint announced the first shipment of quarters with the depiction of poet Maya Angelou, the first Black woman to be featured on the coin.
But internally, issues remain. Reports of racism at the Mint came into the public view in 2017 when a white employee used rope from coin bags to make a noose for a Black employee to find.
During the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd, the staff sent a letter to then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin detailing instances of racial aggression, including the discovery of another noose and the N-word written in restrooms.
These allegations as well as others were referred to the Treasury Department’s inspector general, Richard K. Delmar, and the investigation remains ongoing, the Times wrote.
In the report reviewed by the paper, the consulting firm said that its findings “point to potential root causes for the racial divide” and went on to cite outdated policies and questionable practices.
In December, President Joe Biden said he would nominate Gibson to be the agency’s director. Currently, she is the deputy director leading the agency on an acting basis. She would need to be confirmed by the Senate in order to advance to the top job. During a diversity briefing, she vowed to improve the Mint’s workplace culture by creating career development programs to make promotion more transparent, the Times reported.
The full findings of the report have yet to be released publicly. Read more about the report and its findings at the New York Times.