SAN FRANCISCO—The Judicial Council at its July 18–19 business meeting will consider several actions to improve how judicial branch entities prevent and address harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate conduct at their workplaces.
The report from its Work Group for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment recommends the council expand education and resources for judges and court staff.
The work group also recommends the council develop new rules that clarify how courts should update their policies to expressly address inappropriate workplace conduct and complaint reporting and response procedures. The report says the courts should have workplace investigation protocols, take steps to improve communication about the policies, and gather feedback from current and departing employees to determine areas of needed improvement.
Other items on the council meeting agenda include:
Workload-based Formula for Trial Court Funding: The council will consider ways to increase the accuracy and consistency of how trial court funding allocations are calculated, one of the principal responsibilities of the Judicial Council. If approved, these changes would take effect for fiscal year 2019–20 allocations.
Report on Judicial Workload Measures: The council will consider the evolving formula for determining judicial needs around the state.
New Funding for Legal Services, Dependency Counsel: The council will be asked to allocate the increased funding provided in this year’s state budget for legal services to low-income persons involved in landlord/tenant issues and for court-appointed dependency counsel representing children and parents.
Strategic Planning: The council will consider reaffirming the strategic plan for the judicial branch. The plan includes goals to protect the courts’ independence and accountability, modernize operations, provide education for judges and court staff, and ensure adequate and stable funding to improve the administration of justice for all Californians.