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2020 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.351. Judicial branch policies on workplace conduct

The judicial branch is committed to providing a workplace free of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification. Consistent with this commitment, each court must take reasonable steps to prevent and address such conduct, including adopting policies prohibiting harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification and establishing for such conduct complaint reporting and response procedures that satisfy the minimum requirements stated in this rule.

(a) Prohibition policies

Each court must ensure that its policies prohibiting harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification conform with the minimum requirements stated in this rule. These policies must contain:

(1)  A prohibition against harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification by judicial officers, managers, supervisors, employees, other personnel, and other individuals with whom employees come into contact;

(2)  A list of all protected classifications under applicable state and federal laws, including all protected classifications listed in Government Code section 12940(a);

(3)  Definitions and a nonexhaustive list of examples of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification;

(4)  A clear prohibition of retaliation against anyone making a complaint or participating in an investigation of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification; and

(5)  Comprehensive complaint reporting, intake, investigatory, and follow-up processes.

(b) Complaint reporting process

Each court must adopt a process for employees to report complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification. These reporting processes must:

(1)  Establish effective open-door policies and procedures for reporting complaints;

(2)  Offer multiple avenues for raising complaints, either orally or in writing, and not require that the employee bring concerns to an immediate supervisor;

(3)  Clearly identify individuals to whom complaints may be made regarding the conduct of administrative presiding justices, appellate court clerk/executive officers, presiding judges, court executive officers, judicial officers, and court management;

(4)  Identify the Commission on Judicial Performance, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as additional avenues for employees to lodge complaints, and provide contact information for those entities; and

(5)  Instruct supervisors, managers, and directors with knowledge of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification to report this information to the administrative presiding justice or an appellate court clerk/executive officer, a presiding judge, a court executive officer, human resources, or another appropriate judicial officer who is not involved with the conduct or named in the complaint.

(c) Court responsibility on receipt of complaint or knowledge of potential misconduct

Each court must develop processes to intake, investigate, and respond to complaints or known instances of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or inappropriate workplace conduct based on a protected classification. These processes must provide for:

(1)  Appropriate reassurances to complainants that their confidentiality in making a complaint will be preserved to the extent possible, including an explanation that disclosure of information will be limited to the extent consistent with conducting a fair, effective, and thorough investigation;

(2)  Fair, timely, and thorough investigations of complaints that provide all parties with appropriate consideration and an opportunity to be heard. These investigations should be conducted by impartial, qualified investigators;

(3)  Communication with complainants throughout the investigation process, including initial acknowledgment of complaints, follow-up communication as appropriate, and communication at the end of the process;

(4)  Consideration of appropriate options for remedial action and resolution based on the evidence collected in the investigation; and

(5)  Timely case closures.

(d) Implementation

All courts must implement the requirements of this rule by December 31, 2020, or as soon thereafter as possible, subject to any applicable obligations to meet and confer or consult with recognized employee organizations.

(Subd (d) amended effective April 16, 2020.)

Rule 10.351 amended effective April 16, 2020; adopted effective January 17, 2020.

Title 10, Judicial Administration Rules(Division 2, Administration of the Judicial Branch(Chapter 6, Court Technology, Information and Automation; renumbered effective January 1, 2013; adopted as Chapter 7.

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