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Workforce Diversity Subcommittee

Mission | Short-Term Objectives | Long-Term Objectives | Accomplishments | Members


The mission of the Workforce Diversity Subcommittee is to chart a recommended course for improvement and action in meeting the goals of affirmative action and better diversity, as recommended in the reports in the Oregon Supreme Court Task Force on Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Judicial System, the Oregon Supreme Court Implementation Committee, and the Oregon Supreme Court/Oregon State Bar Task Force on Gender Fairness.


Short-Term Objectives
  • Focus on the state court system's action plans in several areas.
  • Assist in advising and working with the Judicial Department in improving its Affirmative Action Plan and subsequent implementation stages.
  • Educate and encourage diversity among those who are hired or appointed by, and under contract with the court system, such as employees, Citizen Review Board members, arbitrators, mediators, and indigent defense contractors.
  • From these experiences, develop a model of affirmative action strategies that allow the court system and others to replicate successes and avoid replicating failures.

To meet the short-term objectives, the Workforce Diversity Subcommittee advises the state court system on diversifying its workforce to

  • ensure that local court personnel reflect the diverse people they serve;
  • heighten awareness of diversity issues, such as policies against discrimination, barriers in the hiring process, and workplace dynamics;
  • facilitate racial, ethnic, and gender fairness that increases public trust and confidence in the judiciary; and
  • make more effective decisions.

Long-Term Objectives

Followup with justice system entities on their efforts to improve workforce diversity. When appropriate, share the state courts' affirmative action model with other justice system entities, such as law firms and law schools. Offer Subcommittee members' personal experience, guidance, and support.


The Workforce Diversity Subcommittee reviewed the Oregon Judicial Department's practices and strategies to enhance workforce diversity through recruitment, hiring, and retention of underrepresented groups. Among its initiatives, the Judicial Department

  • authorized and encouraged local courts to pay a bilingual pay-differential to qualified staff with customer service responsibilities
  • worked with the National Center for State Courts to develop and administer qualifying tests in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian to qualify staff for the bilingual pay-differential
  • instituted new rules forstate courts to report on efforts to recruit and hire employees from diverse backgrounds
  • developed a voluntary applicant tracking form that requests information about each applicant's gender, race, ethnicity, and disability status
  • included sessions for supervisors on improving workforce diversity through effective recruitment, hiring, and retention


Chair: David Bartz Jr.

Attorney at Law

Leola McKenzie
Assistant Director
Court Programs and Services Division
Office of the State Court Administrator

Peggy C. Ross
Affirmative Action Director
Office of the Governor

Sue Lamb
OJD Analyst
Marion County Circuit Court