Aliza Shatzman didn’t realize that federal judicial employees are not protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. That is until the judge she worked for in 2020 ended her clerkship early—for reasons that she thinks were due to gender discrimination.
She was also unaware that federal court clerks are at-will employees. Shatzman says the experience led to her co-founding the Legal Accountability Project, a nonprofit focused on helping law clerks have positive experiences. The organization plans to set up a clerkship reporting database and a database with the names of employment lawyers willing to represent federal clerks who need legal representation.
The group also supports the Judiciary Accountability Act, a federal bill that would extend protection of discrimination based on race, color religion and sex to judicial employees and would establish a special counsel to investigate allegations of workplace misconduct.
Shatzman spoke in March about her experience to the House Committee on the Judiciary, urging Congress to pass the act. In an August 2021 letter, the Judicial Conference of the United States opposed the act.
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