(Bloomberg) -- Martin Gruenberg is facing the biggest threat yet to his bid to remain chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after a key Senate Democrat asked President Joe Biden to replace him. 

The call by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown deepens a political crisis at the FDIC that’s been raging after findings of workplace harassment and discrimination. Top Republican lawmakers have called for Gruenberg to leave the post, but Democrats had mostly stopped short until Brown said Monday that Biden should “immediately nominate a new chair.”

“I am left with one conclusion: there must be fundamental changes at the FDIC,” Brown said in a statement. “Those changes begin with new leadership, who must fix the agency’s toxic culture and put the women and men who work there – and their mission – first.” He added that he wants a new chair installed “without delay.”

The FDIC declined to comment. 

Problems with the FDIC’s office culture were spotlighted this month in a report by a law firm reflecting complaints from more than 500 people detailing “sexual harassment, discrimination and other interpersonal misconduct.” That probe was prompted by a Wall Street Journal report last year that female bank examiners had left the FDIC because of its “sexualized, boys’ club environment.”

Read More: FDIC Probe Finds Credible Allegations of Toxic Workplace

The law firm report also questioned whether Gruenberg was the best person to lead a “cultural and structural transformation” it said was needed at the regulator. The findings didn’t accuse Gruenberg himself of harassment or discrimination, but cited separate examples of Gruenberg losing his temper with staff.

Gruenberg’s Pledge

For his part, Gruenberg has vowed to fix the agency’s problems, repeatedly apologized to employees and has said the regulator is already undertaking measures recommended in the law firm’s report.

Republicans have attacked Democrats for not immediately calling on Gruenberg to resign, with some accusing them of having a double standard on issues like sexual harassment.  

During a congressional hearings last week, Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, defended Gruenberg and called Republican demands that he resign hypocritical. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts on the Senate Banking Committee, also signaled he should remain. 

But in another sign of the pressure on Gruenberg, Sheila Bair, who led the FDIC during the financial crisis, said in a post on X that Gruenberg should announce he’ll resign. “This controversy is hurting him and the agency,” she said. 

Capital Plan

The FDIC’s workplace issues have also shifted attention from a US regulatory plan to force big Wall Street banks to hold more capital. Lenders have vigorously lobbied against the proposal. A resignation by Gruenberg, who backs tougher capital requirements for banks, would further cloud the outlook for finalizing the regulation before November’s US elections.

Separately, a new survey out Monday found that employee satisfaction plunged last year at the FDIC. The regulator ranked 25th — next to last — among the midsize agencies included in the latest “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report. 

Read More: FDIC Ranks Near Last in Government Agency Workplace Survey

The agency’s scores in that annual survey have now declined for four straight years, after ranking first in its category from 2012-2016, according to the Partnership for Public Service. 

(Updates with comment from former FDIC chair in 10th paragraph.)

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