Working group recommends changes to prevent workplace harassment in the judiciary

Following reports of sexual harassment involving a federal judge published by the Washington Post last December, several current law clerks and I believed that the federal judiciary’s policies were ineffective and needed significant change. As current clerks, however, we are somewhat constrained in our ability to engage in public advocacy; thus, we sought help from former law clerks. While all the members of our group are fortunate to have worked for judges who treat us with respect and value our contributions, many of us knew other clerks who were subjected to abusive chambers environments. In December 2017, we wrote a letter offering modest suggestions to address workplace harassment in the federal courts, including: revising the Federal Judicial Center’s Law Clerk Handbook and Judicial Conference’s Codes of Conduct; improving the judiciary’s training regarding harassment, confidentiality, and avenues for reporting misconduct; developing a confidential…

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