Barr concerned about low morale among LGBTQ employees at DOJ

Attorney General William Barr is concerned by reports of low morale among LGBTQ Justice Department employees and has directed the FBI to investigate allegations of discrimination, he wrote in a letter to the department’s Pride group.

“I was troubled by the concerns you raised about low morale and in particular about discrimination against LGBTQ employees,” Barr wrote Thursday. “I have shared your letter with the FBI and BOP and have directed them to take appropriate action to investigate and address allegations of discrimination and prevent it going forward.”

The board of directors at DOJ Pride had written to Barr late last month, raising concerns about declining morale based on an internal survey of LGBTQ Justice employees last fall.

“Only 31% of respondents agreed that ‘the Department of Justice values its LGBTQ employees,’ and only 43% agreed that ‘the Department of Justice does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression,’ ” the board members wrote. “Perhaps the starkest result was that fewer than 10% of respondents agreed that ‘the Department of Justice attracts and retains the best LGBTQ talent.’ “

“Given the crucial role the Department fulfills in our society — enforcing the nation’s laws and administering justice — we are concerned that so many employees who dedicate themselves to the Department do not think the Department values them, or that it attracts the best and brightest of the LGBTQ community,” the letter adds.

The board also highlighted that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had never signed an equal employment opportunity statement. Barr has now signed the statement.