Approved by the Colorado Supreme Court: February 2002
Statement of Policy
The Colorado Judicial Branch is dedicated to the principles and goals of fairness, equality, courtesy, and respect for all individuals. As an employer, the Branch is committed to fairness and equality of opportunity in the workplace. All recruitment, hiring, training, promotions, transfers, and administration of all personnel policies, procedures, programs, and services shall be conducted or administered without regard to race, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status or disability.
The Colorado Judicial Branch values the individual diversity of all employees, applicants, volunteers, citizens and court users. Differences in age, race, ethnic heritage, religion, appearance, sexual orientation or any number of other distinguishing factors provide experiences, viewpoints, and ideas that can strengthen and enrich our work environment. Our goal is to create an environment that is inclusive, respectful, and equitable, and to employ the talents of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to accomplish the various missions of the Colorado Judicial Branch.
Any person who feels that he or she has been denied further employment opportunities or benefits or who has been harassed because of race, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status or disability may:
- File a grievance in accordance with Colorado Judicial Branch Personnel Rules;
- File a complaint as directed by the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Anti-Harassment Policy;
Complaints may be submitted to the Chief Judge, Judicial District Administrator, Chief Probation Officer, or Human Resources Division of the State Court Administrator’s office.
Duties and Responsibilities
Chief Justice and State Court Administrator
The State Court Administrator has the ultimate responsibility for the overall administration of the EEO/Diversity Plan subject to the direction and approval of the Chief Justice and the Colorado Supreme Court. This includes:
- Responsibility for integrating equal opportunity into all parts of personnel and program management;
- Reviewing policies and procedures as they affect diversity;
- Ensuring compliance with relevant federal and state constitutions, statutes, and regulations;
- Identifying corrective measures to remedy identified disparities in the workforce;
- Creating a diverse and culturally sensitive work environment;
- Designing and implementing an internal system for auditing and reporting the program’s effectiveness;
- Seeking resources to create an EEO/Diversity Coordinator for the Colorado Judicial Branch.
Director of Human Resources
The Director of Human Resources, as directed by the State Court Administrator, has day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of the EEO/Diversity Program. This may include:
- Developing and monitoring the Branch’s written policies;
- Disseminating the plan internally and externally;
- Assisting judges, judicial district administrators, chief probation officers, and supervisors by providing mechanisms for the resolution of omplaints, identifying and creating related training programs, and assisting with the creation and implementation of diversity initiatives.
Local Administrative Authorities
Chief Judges are responsible for the implementation of an annual local EEO/Diversity Plan. This includes:
- Communicating the elements of local plans to employees;
- Local monitoring and supervision to promote equal opportunity for all employees, applicants, and program beneficiaries;
- Ensuring fair employment decisions;
- Taking swift and appropriate action(s) to prevent discrimination and/or harassment when it is discovered;
- Assuring compliance with the Anti-Harassment Policy of the Colorado Judicial Branch;
- Establishing a positive and culturally sensitive work environment through the inclusion of initiatives designed to assist those involved with the Colorado Judicial Branch to come to terms with his or her attitudes, beliefs, and expectations about others, and gain comfort with those who are different.
These duties may be delegated to the Judicial District Administrator, Chief Probation Officer, or the Clerks of Court for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The State Court Administrator or the Director of Human Resources shall perform these functions for the Office of the State Court Administrator. Plans shall be maintained locally, available to interested parties for review upon request, and updated every two years when new employment statistics are released.
Judges and Supervisors
Judges and supervisors are responsible for:
- Establishing a positive climate for equal employment;
- Assuring that all personnel practices and procedures, including training, hiring, and promotion, are applied equally and in compliance with Colorado Judicial System Personnel Rules;
- Taking swift and appropriate action(s) to prevent discrimination and/or harassment when it is discovered;
- Judges and supervisors should also promote inclusion and cultural sensitivity in the workplace.
Communication of the Judicial Branch Equal Employment Program
The Judicial Branch’s EEO/Diversity Plan shall be well publicized internally to all employees and externally to the public.
Internal Communication Concerning the Program
The Colorado Judicial Branch’s Statement of Policy contained within this program description shall be distributed to all Branch judicial officers and employees when this program is adopted, and thereafter distributed to each new judicial officer and employee upon hire. It shall also be posted on courthouse bulletin boards, along with Federal Equal Employment Opportunity posters. It will be made available on the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Intranet site. The Colorado Judicial Branch EEO/Diversity Plan shall be distributed to all Chief Judges, Judicial District Administrators, Clerks of Court, Judges, and Supervisors, and shall be available to judicial officers and employees upon request through the Human Resources Division of the State Court Administrator’s office.
Articles concerning the EEO/Diversity Plan shall be featured periodically in the Branch’s newsletters and publications as appropriate, and shall be included in management handbooks, annual reports, and policy manuals.
Training related to diversity in the workplace, harassment, and sexual harassment shall be provided to all employees and judges.
The promotion of a diverse workforce will be included as a core criteria and organizational value within the Judicial Branch’s performance appraisal program.
External Communication Concerning the Program
To affirm its commitment to the EEO/Diversity Plan, the Judicial Branch shall conduct outreach to minority communities, high schools, community colleges, other colleges and universities, and professional associations to establish liaisons with those groups, foster a positive relationship, and recruit people from under-represented minority groups for employment and volunteer opportunities.
The Branch’s EEO/Diversity Plan shall be published on the Judiciary’s web site (at www.courts.state.co.us).
The Human Resources Division shall send job announcements to recruitment sources that have contact with potential job applicants who would increase the Judicial Branch’s diversity. These sources shall be kept informed of the EEO/Diversity Plan and encouraged to make employment referrals.
All Judicial Branch job vacancy notices and job advertisements shall contain the statement “The Colorado Judicial Branch is an Equal Opportunity Employer.”
The Judicial Branch will create statewide and local EEO/Diversity plans and initiatives in an effort to promote a workforce that resembles the labor market through the elimination of barriers and the implementation of proactive programs. On a regular basis, the Colorado Judicial Branch’s workforce shall be analyzed to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reporting requirements to determine whether there are under-represented groups in the workforce as compared to the available labor force. The availability of under-represented groups in the state’s labor force shall be determined using job categories as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Labor. If such under-representation is found, the Judicial Branch will attempt to determine if it is the result of barriers limiting equal employment opportunities.
State and local plans will include an equal employment component focused on ensuring fairness and equity in all employment practices, as well as a diversity component that will encourage and promote the idea that differences in the workplace contribute to the success of the judicial branch mission. The analysis may also consist of studies that review the degree to which employees feel valued and included in their work environment. Plans will be evaluated on a regular basis to identify areas of success and areas for improvement. It will be the goal of this plan to have EEO/Diversity initiatives in each judicial district by Calendar Year 2002.
The Judicial Branch, through the Office of the State Court Administrator and the Human Resources Division, will provide guidance to local judicial district authorities to aid them in defining EEO/Diversity initiatives and creating plans appropriate for their locations. These plans will be created based upon a review of data specific to their location(s). To increase public trust and confidence in the judicial branch, information concerning court users will be gathered so that their needs and concerns may become a part of local diversity planning. Each plan will describe methods to be used to increase diversity in the workforce, and to promote awareness and sensitivity to diversity issues related to employees and those who use the various programs, activities, and facilities within the Colorado Judicial Branch. Each plan will contain a review of past accomplishments, and suggestions for improvement where needed. Every other year on December 31st, each Judicial Location will file an updated EEO/Diversity Plan describing the efforts, accomplishments, and shortfalls of the previous year, and describing plans for the coming year. Statistical information will be provided by the Human Resources Division of the State Court Administrator’s office prior to completion of this report. Reports will be filed with the Human Resources Division, which will summarize the reports and submit the summary to the Supreme Court for its review.
Specific training programs will be created to increase awareness and sensitivity to diversity issues for all employees and judicial officers within the judicial branch. Diversity issues will be considered in the creation of new programs. Trainers and faculty will consider diversity issues when learning to be trainers. All new employees and supervisors hired or promoted after the implementation of this plan will be required to take diversity training within two years of their hire or promotion date. The performance appraisal program will evaluate supervisors on their ability to promote a diverse workforce.