Judicial Conference Addresses Workplace Conduct and Criminal Justice Act Issues | United States Courts Published on September 13, 2018 …
The Judicial Conference today approved changes to the Judiciary’s Model Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) Plan to cover interns and externs and to extend the time for initiating EDR complaints from 30 to 180 days. The Conference’s Judicial Resources Committee will consider further changes to the model plan at its next meeting. The Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts also reported on the recruitment of a Judicial Integrity Officer in the Administrative Office and the expansion of judicial, staff, and law clerk orientations and education dealing with workplace harassment.
In addition, the Chairs of the Committees on Codes of Conduct and Judicial Conduct and Disability reported to the Conference on proposed amendments to the Codes and Conduct Rules responsive to the recommendations contained in the June 2018 Report of the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group. The proposed amendments were published today for public comment.
The amendments include provisions that state:
- A judge has an affirmative duty to promote civility, not only in the courtroom, but throughout the courthouse.
- A judge should neither engage in nor tolerate workplace misconduct, including comments or statements that could reasonably be interpreted as harassment, abusive behavior, or retaliation for reporting such conduct.
- A judge should take appropriate action upon learning of reliable evidence indicating the likelihood that another judge’s conduct violated the Code. The action should be reasonably likely to address the misconduct, prevent harm to those affected by it, and promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary.
- In order to file a misconduct complaint, an individual does not have to be subject to alleged misconduct.
- Confidentiality obligations of employees should never be an obstacle to reporting judicial misconduct or disability.
- A judge has an obligation to safeguard complainants from retaliation. Retaliation for reporting misconduct constitutes judicial misconduct.
- A judge’s failure to call to the attention of the relevant chief judge clearly identified information reasonably likely to constitute judicial misconduct constitutes judicial misconduct.
- An express reference to workplace harassment within the definition of misconduct.