Posts Tagged ‘Utah’


Utah mandates Abusive Conduct training for state workplaces!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Utah HB 216, sponsored by Rep. Keven Stratton, sailed through the House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert. The training mandate law drew its definition of abusive conduct from the WBI Healthy Workplace Bill:

“Abusive conduct means verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of an employee to another employee that, based on its severity, nature, and frequency of occurrence, a reasonable person would determine is intended to cause intimidation, humiliation, or unwarranted distress or results in substantial physical or psychological harm as a result of intimidation, humiliation, or unwarranted distress; or exploits an employee’s known physical or psychological disability.”

The law requires state agencies to train supervisors and employees about how to prevent abusive conduct. Biannual training must include the definition of abusive conduct, its ramifications, resources available and the employer’s grievance process. In addition, professional development training will also cover ethical conduct and leadership practices based on principles of integrity. The law takes effect July 1, 2015.

Trace the bill’s route through the legislative process. WBI thanks the sponsoring Representative, Sen. Ted Weiler who ushered the bill through the Senate, the Governor, and State Coordinator Denise Halverson and citizen lobbyists who participated in committee hearings.

Utah is the second state to pass a training-only law to begin to address abusive conduct in the workplace. Utah’s bill is superior to Calfornia’s training-only bill of 2014.

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Utah poised to pass law educating state employees about workplace abusive conduct

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

On March 12, the Utah Senate unanimously passed HB 216 on a vote 24 ayes -0 nays -5 not voting. The bill introduced by House Rep. Keven Stratton and sponsored in the Senate by Todd Weiler, sailed through both House and Senate committees and floor votes in both chambers. The bill becomes law with Gov. Gary Herbert’s signature.

Though the HB 216 is not the complete Healthy Workplace Bill that carries employer liability for fostering an abusive work environment, it is stronger than two previous state laws — CA and TN — that mildly approached the epidemic of workplace bullying, abusive conduct as defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute.

Features of the Utah bill, soon to become law, are that it:
• applies to state agencies only
• mandates training of employees AND supervisors
• states that training will include description and “ramifications” of abusive conduct
• training to include resources available to abused workers
• and training to cover the internal grievance process details (WBI: to hold abuser accountable)
• also training in Ethical Conduct
• also training in Organizational Leadership with Integrity
• training every other year
• State may allocate funds to develop policies for agencies
• State may support development of agency training

Visit the Utah State Page at the HWB website for details. State Coordinator Dr. Denise Halverson deserves credit for shepherding this bill through the legislative process while providing her expertise on the topic so lawmakers could confidently and unanimously pass this HWB-related bill.

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Utah takes step toward strong workplace bullying training law

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

On March 3, 2015, the Utah state House of Representatives passed HB 216 on a floor vote of 58-14 to move to the state Senate for consideration. HB 216, sponsored by Rep. Keven Stratton of Orem, adopts the employee training mandate first made law by California in 2014. However, the Utah bill is an improvement because it specifies what should be included in the training about abusive conduct. The California law gave no guidance to employers. And employers without guidance will skirt the intent of the law to deliver the minimum in a way that is cheapest for them (an online brief overview).

Utah’s HB 216:
• applies to state agencies only
• mandates training of employees AND supervisors
• training to include description and “ramifications” of abusive conduct
• to include resources available to abused workers
• and to cover the internal grievance process details (WBI: to hold abuser accountable)
• also training in Ethical Conduct
• also training in Organizational Leadership with Integrity
• training every other year
• State may allocate funds to develop policies for agencies
• State may support development of agency training

HB 216 is not the full Healthy Workplace Bill, but it is the strongest step that any state has taken to date. WBI State Coordinator Denise Halverson has been involved in every stage of the bill’s evolution and deserves much credit.

Visit the Utah State page at the Healthy Workplace Bill website for details.

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Utah legislators tackle abusive conduct in the workplace with new bill

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Utah state Rep. Keven Stratton introduced a training-based mandate version of the Healthy Workplace Bill. It would require annual education by employers on the topic of abusive conduct — its definition, effects, and remedies.

Visit the UT State Page for details.

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Utah committee briefed on Abusive Workplace Conduct

Monday, June 16th, 2014

On June 18, 2014, 9 am, Room 20 House Building, the Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee will hear testimony from Rep. Kevin J. Stratton and Utah State Coordinator Denise Halverson, PhD.

The committee will discuss: Abusive workplace conduct defined as malicious, repeated, health-harming mistreatment: verbal abuse, threats, humiliation, intimidation, work sabotage, exploitation of a known vulnerability, or retaliation for ethical conduct. An abusive work environment exists when an employer or one or more of its employees, acting with intent to cause pain or distress to an employee, subjects that employee to abusive workplace conduct that causes physical harm, psychological harm, or both. The committee will hear a presentation on the prevalence and effect of abusive work environments and discuss future legislative options.

Visit the Utah State Page to volunteer to get involved in this campaign to enact the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill next year.

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Abuse in the medical workplace: Fact vs. myth

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Workplace Abuse in the Medical Workplace: Fact vs. Myth
By Denise Halverson for Utah Nurse

A physician demands that a prescription be filled despite proof that it has been prescribed from faulty information; an intimidated ER nurse doesn’t dare speak up when a life-threatening condition is overlooked; a surgical team stands knowingly, yet silently by as a surgeon makes a life-threatening error ; despite the plea of a mother, nursing staff refuse to challenge the doctor’s written order resulting in the senseless death of a toddler; a senior nurse refuses to assist a junior nurse as a critically-injured patient slips away. What is the common factor in these, and other similar and actual situations? Workplace bullying. In medical environments, personnel often couch it in more benign language: intimidating and disruptive behavior.

(more…)

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