Judiciary Employees to Receive Same Protections Against Discrimination as Private Sector Employees

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced the Judiciary Accountability Act of 2021 which would afford approximately 30,000 federal judiciary workers the same rights and protections against discrimination, sexual harassment, and other misconduct given to other workers in the private and government sectors. 

The Act comes on the heels of several harassment cases that have surfaced as a result of the #MeToo movement involving Ninth and Tenth Circuit Judges who allegedly subjected their employees to discrimination and sexual harassment. “While numerous institutions—including Congress—have taken action to address these issues, the federal Judiciary has failed to take effective steps to protect their employees from harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other misconduct,” said House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, (D-N.Y.). “The Judiciary Accountability Act will provide an overhaul of accountability on these issues by promoting protections for Judiciary employees and protecting the integrity of our Judicial Branch.”

Similar to providing protections to private sector employees under federal statutes like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Act would also provide whistleblower protections and would establish a “workplace misconduct prevention program,” an Office of Judicial Integrity and a Special Counsel for Equal Employment Opportunity. 

“Our third branch of government, the Judiciary, charged with enforcing our laws, must abide by the same workplace standards as the rest of government,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said in a statement. “Employees of our courts should not be afraid of workplace retribution from powerful judges.”

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About Camilo Burr

Camilo Burr is an associate at Faruqi & Faruqi’s New York office. Camilo’s practice is focused on employment law and wage and hour class action litigation. http://www.employeerightscounsel.com/

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