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Workplace Conduct in the Federal Judiciary

The federal judiciary is committed to a workplace free from discrimination, sexual or other discriminatory harassment or abusive conduct. It is also committed to giving every employee clear avenues to obtain confidential advice, report misconduct, and seek and receive remedial action.

Alternative Avenues for Reporting & Advice

The Office of Judicial Integrity serves as an independent source of confidential information and referral, including answering current and former judiciary employees’ questions, and providing guidance on informal and formal complaint avenues of redress. The office’s chief is Michael Henry. The office also serves as a resource and coordinates with staff in similar workplace relations positions in the courts. 

Reporting Workplace Harassment to the Office of Judicial Integrity

Report unwelcome harassment as soon as possible, before it becomes severe or pervasive, so that the misconduct can be corrected immediately and further harassment can be prevented.

Current and former Judiciary employees may confidentially and anonymously get help with workplace harassment or abusive behavior from Judicial Integrity Officer Michael Henry by:

Note: If you wish to withhold your name or other personally identifiable information, please use an email account that does not include this information when emailing the Office of Judicial Integrity.

The Judicial Integrity Officer can explain the resources available to employees to address their workplace conduct concerns, including available options for informal advice, assisted resolution, and how to file a complaint under their court's Employment Dispute Resolution Plan (EDR) or under the Judicial Conduct & Disability Act.

Model Employment Dispute Resolution Plan (EDR)

The Model Employment Dispute Resolution Plan (EDR) was updated and approved by the Judicial Conference in Sept. 2019. It was amended to include definitions and examples of wrongful conduct; three flexible options for resolving conduct issues; flowcharts that explain EDR rights and options; and training requirements for EDR coordinators and judiciary employees. Anyone needing help locating the appropriate EDR plan or coordinator can contact the Office of Judicial Integrity at 202-502-1603 or by email at AO_OJI@ao.uscourts.gov.

Changes to Judges’ Code and Rules

The Judicial Conference approved changes to the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, the Rules for Judicial-Conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings, and the Code of Conduct for Judiciary Employees on March 12, 2019.

Review the proposed changes, public comments, and testimony.

Training

The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) is working with the courts to provide a variety of orientation and educational programs to judges, law clerks, and court staff on:

  • Preventing workplace harassment;
  • Diversity and civility in the workplace; and
  • Code of Conduct.

The FJC has added instructive in-person programs on workplace policies, including sexual harassment, for judges and court unit executives.

New law clerks are provided orientation and supporting materials outlining a law clerk’s options if he or she experiences or observes inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts' Office of Fair Employment Practices conducts anti harassment and workplace conduct training sessions for court executives, senior managers, court employees, and chambers staff.

Workplace Conduct Working Group

The Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group recommended measures to improve workplace conduct policies and procedures in the federal Judiciary.