Cook County judges, court employees ordered to phase out remote work

The order requires employees to be at their “regularly assigned workspace” for 70% of their pay period beginning May 14, three days after the national public health emergency is set to end.

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Leighton Criminal Courthouse

Sun-Times file

The Cook County chief judge has ordered all judges and court employees to return to work in person beginning next month.

The order by Judge Timothy Evans, signed Friday, requires employees to be at their “regularly assigned workspace” for 70% of their pay period beginning May 14 — three days after the national health emergency declaration is set to end.

By June 4, no remote work will be permitted, according to the order. There are about 2,600 employees and 400 judges who will be affected by the order.

Masks will be optional in court facilities beginning May 1.

Evans said he has launched a committee to study the possibility of returning to part-time remote work at some point in the future.

Court operations were gradually moved online in the spring of 2020 as the pandemic hit. Court proceedings have been conducted by videoconference and livestreamed on the court’s YouTube page.

Evans’ office has not announced any changes to the livestream service.

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