Bloomberg Law
July 29, 2021, 10:43 PM

Harassment Shield for Judiciary Workers in House, Senate Bills

Madison Alder
Madison Alder

Judiciary workers would get the same antidiscrimination rights and whistleblower protections as other federal employees under legislation proposed in both houses of Congress on Thursday.

A House bill and a companion measure introduced in the Senate follow the judiciary’s own #MeToo-era reckoning in which several judges were accused of workplace harassment.

While many institutions took action to create workplace misconduct protections amid the #MeToo movement, “the federal Judiciary has failed to take effective steps to protect their employees from harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other misconduct,” House Judiciary chair and co-sponsor Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y) said in a statement.

Two key provisions would apply the same civil rights laws that already protect private- and government- sector workers to federal judiciary employees, and would give them the same protection against whistleblower retaliation that other federal employees have.

The proposal would also institute a workplace misconduct prevention program that would be overseen by a newly created Commission on Judicial Integrity and establish a Special Counsel of for Equal Employment Opportunity to investigate workplace misconduct complaints.

House bill sponsors also include Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). Senate sponsors include Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at

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