Posts Tagged ‘Gary Namie’


Benefits Pro: Workplace bullying legislation repeatedly defeated

Monday, 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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Workplace Bullying on Your Legal Rights, KALW

Monday, 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

Thursday, 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.

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Forbes: How to Deal With a Bullying Boss

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

By Jacquelyn Smith
9/20/13

The prevalence of bullying on the playground, the Internet, in classrooms and dormitories is a serious problem in the U.S. right now–but children, teens and young adults aren’t the only ones using aggressive physical force, threats or coercion to intimidate and abuse their peers.

According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 35% of the American workforce (or 53.5 million people) has directly experienced bullying–or “repeated mistreatment by one or more employees that takes the form of verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, humiliation or sabotage of work performance”–while an additional 15% said they have witnessed bullying at work. Approximately 72% of those bullies are bosses.

“Bullying in the workplace is similar to the school playground in that people are being demeaned or exploited,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job. “But in the office, bullying is far more subversive and challenging to overcome, as these grown bullies are adept at finding non-assertive victims and staying under the radar.”

Andy Teach, author of From Graduation to Corporation, and host of the YouTube channel FromGradToCorp, says there is “a lot of bullying by bosses that goes on in the workplace—and the more years you work, the greater chance you have of encountering it.” He says these are probably the same people who bullied their classmates in the schoolyard. “They have a need to push people around to get their way and if no one stood up to them in school, then they have no reason to stop their bullying now in the business world.”

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HWB Legislative Campaign is focus of Associated Press story

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Growing Push to Halt Workplace Bullying
by Sam Hananel, Associated Press, March 1, 2013

Article excerpts …

On-the-job bullying can take many forms, from a supervisor’s verbal abuse and threats to cruel comments or relentless teasing by a co-worker. And it could become the next major battleground in employment law as a growing number of states consider legislation that would let workers sue for harassment that causes physical or emotional harm.

“I believe this is the new claim that employers will deal with. This will replace sexual harassment,” said Sharon Parella, a management-side employment lawyer in New York. “People who oppose it say these laws will force people to be polite at work. But you can no longer go to work and act like a beast and get away with it.”

Some employers have put into place anti-bullying policies, but advocacy groups want to go even further. They have been urging states to give legal rights to workers who do not already fit into a protected class based on race, gender or national origin.

More than a dozen states — including New York and Massachusetts — have considered anti-bullying laws in the past year that would allow litigants to pursue lost wages, benefits and medical expenses and compel employers to prevent an “abusive work environment.”

Gary Namie, a social psychologist who co-founded the Bellingham, Wash.-based Workplace Bullying Institute in 1997, is among those leading the charge, along with labor unions and civil rights groups. He says the economic downturn has made bullying even worse and argues that passage of the laws would give employers more incentive to crack down on bad behavior in the workplace.

“People are trapped; they don’t have the same alternative jobs to jump to,” Namie said. “They are staying longer in these pressured, stress-filled, toxic work environments.”

Business groups have strongly opposed the measures, arguing they would open the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits.

“We would look at a bill like this as overreaching,” said Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He said the bill would punish an employer for acts of its employees that it may not be able to anticipate.

But Parella, the employment lawyer, thinks it’s only a matter of time before states begin passing these laws and bullying issues become a major factor in workplace litigation.

“Once it passes in a few states, there will be a chain reaction,” she said, noting that other countries such as England, Ireland and Sweden already have laws addressing workplace harassment.

In Massachusetts, the National Association of Government Employees Local 282 has been one the first unions in the country to include an anti-bullying clause in collective bargaining agreements.

“From a labor perspective, we want there to be remedies in place for corrections to be made, not to yell, scream, threaten or treat the person basically like a slave,” said Greg Sorozan, president of NAGE, which represents about 12,000 public employees.

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See an original posting of the full story with pictures and a graph.

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The anti-bullying legislation mentioned in the article is called the Healthy Workplace Bill. You can help enact it in your state by helping our State Coordinators. At this national campaign website, click on your state and see what is happening this legislative session or in years before.

Greg Sorozan is also HWB State Coordinator in Massachusetts. See videos of him and Suffolk Law Professor David Yamada, the bill’s author, describing the legislation on the MA State Page at this website.

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FL target of workplace bullying tells tale. WBI advice featured. Miami TV

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Two versions of the Healthy Workplace Bill have been introduced in Florida — HB 149 and SB 308. Visit the FL State page to volunteer as a Citizen Lobbyist to help State Coordinators. Watch the Miami WFOR-TV news segment about workplace bullying that aired Feb. 5, 2013.

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PA State Coordinator featured on Philadelphia TV

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Pennsylvania State Coordinator featured on KYW-TV, Feb. 5, 2013. If you live in PA, visit the State page at this website to sign up as Citizen Lobbyist to help Dr. Johnson get the Healthy Workplace Bill introduced and passed.

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23 States have now introduced the Healthy Workplace Bill

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Dr. Ruth Namie and I began the legislative campaign to enact the WBI anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in 2002 in California. Now a network of volunteer State Coordinators spread over 42 states works in concert with Citizen Lobbyists to educate state legislators to sponsor the HWB.

So far, early in this 2013 session, two states have introduced legislation for the first time:

New Mexico — the 22nd State to introduce since 2003, and

Florida — the 23rd State

Gary Namie

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National Labor Leaders & NAACP Support WBI on Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

When: Monday October 15, 10-11 am
Where: National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
What: Commemoration of WBI’s Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week

Who: An all-star lineup of support from a diverse range of organizations and national leaders.

Special Guests

Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Hilary O. Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau, NAACP, Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Policy

David J. Holway, National President, National Association of Government Employees (NAGE)

Charletta McNeill, President Local 32, OPM, Washington, DC, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)

Gary Namie, PhD, Director, Workplace Bullying Institute & National Healthy Workplace Campaign

HWB State Coordinators

Greg Sorozan, Massachusetts State Coordinator, HWB, NAGE: National Vice President, President Local 282

Jane Bethel, Virginia State Coordinator, HWB, NAGE: National Executive Board, President Local 200

Lana Cooke, West Virginia State Coordinator, HWB, West Virginia University (Ret.)

First-Hand Bullied Target Tales

Neil Dias, Advocate for HWB

Susan Rae Baker

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Why the U.S. needs, and we are advocates for, the Healthy Workplace Bill

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

As of Nov. 22, 2011, there are 12 states carrying 18 versions of our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill sponsored by hundreds of state legislators of both political parties. You can see for yourself by visiting the website for the national Healthy Workplace Campaign. Learn about the bill here. We also address criticisms of the HWB.

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