U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and Ninth Circuit to Study Workplace Code of Conduct

Allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace have recently been in the forefront of the country’s major news stories, and the judicial branch is no exception. In fact, in his end of the year report on the judiciary U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts noted

“Events in recent months have illuminated the depth of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, and events in the past few weeks have made clear that the judicial branch is not immune. The judiciary will begin 2018 by undertaking a careful evaluation of whether its standards of conduct and its procedures for investigating and correcting inappropriate behavior are adequate to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee.”

 The Chief Justice has requested James C. Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, to assemble a working group to examine current workplace practice and codes of conduct to determine whether changes are needed to appropriately address workplace conduct in the federal judiciary.

On January 12, 2018, the Ninth Circuit also announced the formation of an “ad hoc committee” assigned to review workplace environment policies. This group will coordinate with the group formed by Chief Justice Roberts. The Ninth Circuit will consider input from focus groups of staff, law clerks, and “interested parties” concerning workplace issues. The Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Courts working groups will submit a written report and recommendations to the Judicial Conference of the United States, which is the principal policy making body of the U.S. courts.

Read more about the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Group here.

Read the Ninth Circuit’s announcement here.