by Eesha Williams, Valley Post
Bullying by bosses leads some workers to commit acts of violence, and causes stress-related health problems in many more workers. Massachusetts is poised to become the first state in the nation to pass a law against workplace bullying. Vermont is likely to pass similar legislation next year. Legislation in New Hampshire is stalled.
“I have heard from so many constituents who want us to address this problem,” Katherine Clark told the Valley Post. She is a Massachusetts state senator from the Boston suburb of Melrose. “Especially in a down economy, people don’t want to leave a job because of workplace bullying.” Clark said July 31 is the deadline for the legislature to enact the law, which is known as bill H.2310 “An Act addressing workplace bullying,” this year.
Clark and Rep. Ellen Story of Amherst are the bill’s sponsors. The bill is likely to pass this year, Clark said. She urged people who support the bill to contact their state legislators. Contact info is at www.MAlegislature.gov.
Greg Sorozan is president of a local of the SEIU union that represents thousands of workers in Massachusetts. He told the Valley Post he supports the bill. “This is like the sexual harassment laws that were enacted in the 1980s and early 1990s. They have been very effective,” he said.
Sorozan urged people who support the bill to sign a petition at:
Vermont state senator Anthony Pollina lives in Middlesex, near Montpelier. He told the Valley Post that the legislature will probably vote on a workplace bullying bill, which he supports, early next year. “Workplace bullying is a serious problem,” he said.
Vermont state senator Bill Doyle of Montpelier said he supports the bill. It’s likely to become law next year, he said.
Information about bills intended to prevent workplace bullying in Vermont and New Hampshire is at this web site, which is run by a national group that supports the legislation: