Federal courts create workplace conduct committee

On the heels of a call from the U.S. Supreme Court to review the judiciary’s sexual harassment response policies, the U.S. Courts Administrative Office has established a working group to review the safeguards in place for protecting court employees from inappropriate workplace conduct.

The administrative office Friday announced the creation of the seven-member Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group. The committee will be tasked with examining “workplace relations practices in the public and private sector.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts called for the creation of the working group as part of his 2017 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, announcing he wanted the court system to evaluate “whether its standards of conduct and its procedures for investigating and correcting inappropriate behavior are adequate to ensure exemplary workplace conduct for every judge and every court employee.”

Members of the working group include:

  • Chief Judge Jeffrey R. Howard, First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judge M. Margaret McKeown, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Chief Judge Julie A. Robinson, District of Kansas
  • Judge Sarah S. Vance, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Margaret A. Wiegand, Third Circuit Court of Appeals circuit executive
  • Jeffrey P. Minear, counselor to the Chief Justice
  • John S. Cook, Federal Judicial Center deputy director

At the conclusion of its study, the federal working group will submit a written report and recommendations to relevant committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

The creation of the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group comes one week after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals announced the creation of its own committee to evaluate the circuit’s policies for reporting and responding to harassment allegations.

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