Community Outreach Programs
#WeToo in the Legal Workplace

NAWJ’s #WeToo in the Legal Workplace program educates judges and other legal professionals on sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. Programs inform participants of the recent study conducted by the ABA’s Commission of Women with necessary tools needed for legal organizations and victims of harassment and bullying; policies to prohibit this behavior as well as discipline for that behavior; resources available for sex-based harassment; and how to develop and enforce new policies. Lawyers, judicial staff, and EEOC representatives experienced in these issues provide a summary snapshot of the types of misconduct encountered in law firms and in courthouses; existing principles for anti-harassment training; the complaint process; and judicial ethics and discipline considerations.

Among NAWJ’s education strategies, the program convenes state legislators and legislative women’s caucus leaders with lawyers and attorneys expert in employment law and the workplace. Legislators share and update participants on ‘landmark’ legislation as well as the status of any recent efforts to curb sexual harassment in the legislature and in the courts. Participating employment attorneys share important elements of current employment laws protecting women and others at the workplace against sexual harassment.

Programs will be conducted for national and state and local audiences, including NAWJ’s annual meeting with the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues on Capitol Hill, NAWJ’s Annual Conferences, and local events in any state of NAWJ’s 14 Districts. 

VIDEO- July 18, 2018: 13th Annual NAWJ Meeting with the Congressional Women’s Caucus: Exploring How to Ensure Women Can Thrive in Healthy Work Environments, Free of Sexual Harassment and Intimidation

WELCOME and OPENING

NAWJ President Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy,
New York State Supreme Court, New York County

CONGRESSIONAL WOMEN’S CAUCUS CO-CHAIRS
Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Indiana, District 5
Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Florida, District 23
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Michigan, District 12
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas, District 18

#WETOO IN THE LEGAL WORKPLACE PANEL
Moderator:
Nicole Austin-Hillery, Esq., Executive Director, U.S. Program, Human Rights Watch Panelists:
Chai R. Feldblum, Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Susan E. Huhta, Esq., Partner, Outten & Golden LLP
Sadina Montani, Esq., Shareholder, Vedder Price’s Labor & Employment Practice
David J. Sachar, J.D., Executive Director, Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission

WOMEN UNDER ATTACK
Illinois State Bar Association’s Women and the Law (WATL)

NAWJ District Eight will partner with the Illinois State Bar Association’s Women and the Law (WATL) Committee on the initiative “Women Under Attack.” The WATL initiative is based on three issues: a complaint against a local attorney regarding seeking sexual favors from clients on child custody matters and allegations of sexual assault of female attorneys in his office; the targeting of a federal judge, Judge Salas, which resulted in the killing of her son; and the verbal attack on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez by another congressperson, using profanity and a gender slur.   

Cindy Buys, WATL Committee Chair and WATL members Erin Wilson and Dina Ninfo, introduced FLASH - Force of Lawyers Against Sexual Harassment, the action platform for the “Women Under Attack” initiative. The initiative will focus on anti-harassment actions for female legal professionals, including court reporters and court clerks. 

FLASH is a task force of Illinois legal professionals united to combat the prevalence of sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Illinois legal community through direct advocacy, policy implementation, education and peer support. Goals and objectives are to create and foster a safe, respectful and intersectional professional environment for all Illinois legal professionals that adopts a zero-tolerance approach to sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault. 
FLASH’s Work Plan is to:

  1. Collect, analyze and maintain data from legal professionals to establish the nature and extent of sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Illinois legal community and  issue a white paper.   
  2. Collect and analyze firm policies on sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault within firms; issue a comprehensive and cohesive policy on sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault within firms.  Issue FLASH’s analysis and recommendations in a white paper.
  3. Provide a multi-variety of resources to all legal professionals who are experiencing or have experienced sexism, sexual harassment, and/or sexual assault including, but not limited to:
    • Practice-area-specific peer support to provide information and resources for professional transitions;
    • Peer support for navigating the ARDC process and the professional and personal aftermath;
    • General mentoring and peer support; and
    • General education to law schools, bar associations, and the legal community as a      whole.
  4. Provide recommendations on how to prevent sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault.  Demand accountability from all Illinois legal professionals by requiring mandatory new lawyer and continuing legal education focused on the elimination of sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Illinois legal community and through the implementation of a consistent code of conduct among Illinois bar associations and professional organizations touching the Illinois legal community.
  5. Provide direct advocacy and support to the enactment of legislation and policy aimed at    addressing sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault throughout the State of Illinois.

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