Benefits Pro: Workplace bullying legislation repeatedly defeated

March 3rd, 2014

By Scott Wooldridge, Benefits Pro, March 3, 2014

Public awareness of workplace bullying has never been higher, thanks to high-profile cases such as the one involving ” target=”_blank”>Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Yet none of the more than two dozen states that have taken up the issue has actually passed any legislation to tackle the problem.

A recent survey found that 93 percent of Americans support legislation that would offer protections against bullying at work. The survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics for the Workplace Bullying Institute, found that 27 percent of Americans report having experienced abusive conduct at work. Another 21 percent say they have witnessed such behavior. Overall, 72 percent of those surveyed said they were aware of the issue of workplace bullying.

“Everybody has a story,” said Gary Namie, co-founder and director of the Workplace Bullying Institute. “It is an epidemic. When you count witnesses, 65 million people in the workforce know firsthand what (bullying) is about.”

The Incognito-Martin case brought workplace bullying into the spotlight.

Martin accused Incognito of bullying him, and then left the team. A lawyer hired by the National Football League to investigate the matter recently released a report concluding that Incognito “engaged in a pattern of harassment” of Martin.

Namie and his Bellingham, Wash.-based institute have been working on the issue for more than 20 years, but he said that the Incognito-Martin case caused “a tectonic shift.”

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Bristol Press: CCSU professor urges law targeting workplace bullying

March 2nd, 2014

By Scott Whipple, The Bristol (CT) Press, March 1, 2014

NEW BRITAIN — Workplace bullying is back in the public eye.

According to a recent national survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans — 93 percent — support enactment of a new law that would protect workers from repeated abusive treatment at work. Only 1 percent strongly oppose such a measure.

“Because of the strong public support and stories from Connecticut citizens we are seeking sponsors in the state legislature to enact the Anti-Bullying Healthy Workplace Bill” said Katherine Hermes, state co-coordinator promoting the legislation.

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Vermont advocate calls for hearing on workplace bullying bill

March 2nd, 2014

Ban on workplace bullying stalled at Vermont Statehouse
Advocacy group asks lawmakers to hold public hearing
by Stewart Ledbetter, WPTZ, NBC-TV, Montpelier, VT, Feb. 28, 2014

Sherill Gilbert says she walks the Statehouse hallways as often as she can, trying to persuade members of the Legislature to take up her cause.

She’s determined, even after five years without much success.
“I’d love to see Vermont become first state with law against workplace bullying,” Gilbert said Thursday. “I’ve heard from people from all 14 Vermont counties. Somebody needs to do something. It’s the only legalized abuse in the United States.”

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Workplace Bullying on Your Legal Rights, KALW

February 24th, 2014

On Wed. Feb. 12, host Chuck Finney, San Mateo Deputy District Attorney (Ret.), of the show Your Legal Rights on San Francisco’s KALW, invited Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director and Orange County plaintiff’s attorney and co-founder of CELA (California Employment Lawyers Association), William Crosby, to discuss the challenges of Workplace Bullying.

Listen to the 27 min. broadcast.

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Tennessee becomes 26th state to introduce anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bills

February 6th, 2014

In the Tennessee House, Rep. Antonio Parkinson introduced HB 1981, the Healthy Workplace Bill to combat workplace bullying. Sen. Jim Kyle simultaneously introduced the companion bill, SB 2226.

Both bills mark the introduction of Tennessee to the legislative fight against workplace bullying. It is the 26th state to have taken this step since we began the campaign in 2003 in California.

Visit the Healthy Workplace Campaign website for details and specifically the Tennessee State Page for new bill details.

NH HB 591 Passes Senate

January 31st, 2014

SEIU Local 1984, representing New Hampshire State workers, has engineered passage of HB 591 (a unionized version of the full Healthy Workplace Bill) in both the House and Senate. Senate passage by voice vote was recorded on Jan. 30, 2014. The bill returns to the House to reconcile differences in amendments.

Visit the NH State Page to thank all bill sponsors, especially Rep. Diane Schuett.

Professor David Yamada on Greater Boston

January 30th, 2014

Dayton Daily News: Laws lacking in workplace bullying

January 20th, 2014

By Cornelius Frolik, Dayton Daily News, Jan.

Workplaces have bullies just like schoolyards, but bullied workers generally have fewer legal protections than school children. State and federal laws do not prohibit bullying in the workplace, as long as it does not constitute discrimination or certain types of harassment.

But calls for legislation outlawing the activity have grown louder since last fall when the topic grabbed national headlines after an NFL lineman accused a teammate of hazing and bullying.

Advocates said more than one-third of U.S. workers experience bullying, and the public is finally beginning to understand its prevalence and harm.

“It’s very serious because it destroys people’s health, jobs and careers,” said Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an educational and research nonprofit in Bellingham, Wash. “It’s a major, major problem, but it’s not illegal, so employers don’t have to deal with it.”

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Workforce: Bullying, bigotry and a bill

January 6th, 2014

Bullying, Bigotry and a Bill to Prevent Picking on All Personnel
by Frank Kalman, Workforce, Jan. 5, 2014

Unless bullying involves discrimination, it’s mostly legal to be a jerk at work. Some are trying to change that.

Culture is a powerful force, especially in the workplace.

In the right setting, high-stress, high-profile workplaces such as hospitals, law enforcement offices and professional sports teams can promote a culture of camaraderie and teamwork while producing positive results. However, big egos also can quickly reign supreme, leaving an environment ripe for intimidation and bullying. With no laws specifically preventing workplace bullying — unless the conduct involves discrimination — it’s legal to be a jerk at work, experts say.

Workplace culture likely played a role in a recent high-profile bullying case that became national news with the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins. In midseason, offensive lineman Jonathan Martin unexpectedly left the Dolphins saying he was being harassed by teammates, including fellow lineman Richie Incognito.

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Support the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill

December 12th, 2013

A wonderful video produced by the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Advocates, affiliates of ours working hard to make the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill state law there.

Please share this video on your social media pages!! Spread the word.