HR Strange But True!
June 21, 2001

Joan A. Brown is due to give birth to twins in the fall, and that has Philadelphia's Common Pleas Court nervous.

That's because she's a judge. The judiciary has long dealt with male judges taking sick leave, but as the Philadelphia Daily News reports, maternity leaves are new territory. Another judge gave birth in February, and another colleague of Brown's is also pregnant.

How long should a judge stay off the bench to have a baby? Should she be granted leave before she gives birth? How long before? And what if she wants to extend maternity leave, or return to work part-time after the birth - the way many women do?

Those are all questions being wrestled with now by judicial officials, who must balance the judges' needs against the need to resolve a burgeoning backlog of cases.

Then again, the News asks, can the system afford not to accommodate the judges, and risk losing or not attracting high-quality public servants?

Brown, who was elected to her position, is 51.

Source: Philadelphia Daily News.

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