Posts Tagged ‘workplace bullying institute’

NY State Senator candidate Everly Brown to walk against workplace bullying, for the HWB

Monday, July 28th, 2014

A candidate for NY State Senate District 10, Everly Brown, is a man committed to ending Workplace Bullying. This is a national first. Brown, a Rosedale Queens resident, is gathering signatures to demand that current State Senate leaders to pass the WBI anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill (S3863/A4965) NOW !!! Brown will hand deliver the petitions by walking from Sen. Skelos’ (Republican Senate leader) office on Long Island to Sen. Klein’s (Democratic Senate leader) office in the Bronx — 40 miles on August 11.

Visit his website to support Everly Brown’s campaign.

Here is the New York Times ad run by Everly Brown on July 28, 2014.

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Healthy Workplace Bill legislation: A 2014 perspective on distorted amendments

Monday, July 14th, 2014

The Healthy Workplace Campaign is WBI’s effort to enact anti-bullying legislation for the American workplace state by state. The model bill is called the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB).

Features of the HWB

• Suffolk University Law Professor David C. Yamada, text author, used federal Title VII Civil Rights laws as basis

• Defines severe abusive conduct — does not use term workplace bullying

• Provides legal redress for anyone subjected to abusive conduct, whether or not the person is a member of a protected status group

• Requires that abusive conduct result in either demonstrable health or economic harm to plaintiff

• Plaintiffs who file lawsuits make public formerly hidden, confidential employer processes that hide and deny bullying

• Prohibits retaliation against any participant in procedures involved in dealing with the abusive conduct complaint

• Requires plaintiffs to hire private attorneys, no fiscal impact on state government

• Provides incentives (affirmative defenses) for employers who implement genuine corrective procedures

• Preserves managerial prerogative to discipline and terminate employees

• Does not interfere with state workers’ compensation laws or union CBAs

We named the HWB in 2002. All other uses of the name HWB are unauthorized by us. California first introduced the HWB in 2003. It has been carried in over half of states and two territories since. The Workplace Bullying Institute trains and provides support to a national network of volunteer Sate Coordinators who lobby their respective state legislators to sponsor the HWB. You can track its status at the HWB website.

Botched Amendments & Unanticipated Consequences

As authors of the HWB, we naturally want the full and original version of the bill enacted into law. And we realize compromises will be made during the process. It is “sausage making,” after all. We just wish all bill sponsors would refuse to allow major revisions that change the spirit of the bill from protecting abused workers to something else. Since the HWB was first introduced, different amendments have been proposed or made.
Often the well-intended sponsor, a pro-worker advocate, agrees to compromise adopting the belief that the law can be built in steps. Let’s get this version passed now and it will be revisited in the coming years and supplemented with the other desired provisions.


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HR Exec: Taking Aim at Workplace Bullies

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

By David Shadovitz | Human Resource Executive, July 10, 2014

Anti-bullying legislation continues to gain momentum in state legislatures, with Tennessee becoming the first state to pass anti-bullying legislation.

On June 17, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law the Healthy Workplace Act, a law that affects the practices of state and local government agencies. Private employers are not affected.

The law defines “harassment, intimidation or bullying” as any act that “substantially interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment,” and instructs the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernment Relations to create a model policy by next March. Employers have the option to adopt the TACIR policy or not. Those deciding to enact it would be immune from claims arriving from bullying behavior.

Proponents of anti-bullying legislation and experts believe other states could soon follow in the Volunteer State’s footsteps, with some pointing to New York and Massachusetts as the most likely to pass anti-bullying laws that would also include private-sector employers.

So far, 28 states have introduced anti-bullying legislation this year, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash.

In June, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla vetoed legislation that would have held both public- and private-sector employers in that territory accountable for workplace bullying. In doing so, Padilla pointed to the Department of Justice’s view that the definition of “workplace harassment” is too vague and the fact that victims of workplace bullying can still seek protection under the territory’s Constitution.

Gary Namie, national director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and a chief architect of the Healthy Workplace Act, says his reaction to the Tennessee law is generally positive. Any legislation that focuses on abusive conduct in the workplace breaks the silence, he says. “You’re going to have all of the institutions talking about it now.”

But while he considers the Tennessee law a good first step, Namie adds that he’s disappointed by the legislation’s limited scope and authority, describing it as a “gutted” version of the Healthy Workplaces Act.

Namie notes that it’s also unfortunate that under the act “all of the processes still happen in-house under a shroud of secrecy . . . . “Everything remains internal.”

Recent studies confirm that bullying continues to be a widespread and troubling issue in workplaces.

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WM: If You Don’t Want Anti-Bullying Legislation, Give Me a ‘Hell Yeah!’

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

If You Don’t Want Anti-Bullying Legislation, Give Me a ‘Hell Yeah!’
by Jon Hyman, Workforce Management, April 3, 2014

Bullying in the workplace isn’t illegal, unless it’s bullying because of some protected characteristic (sex, race, etc.). Yet, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it should be condoned.

According to Today’s General Counsel (citing the Workplace Bullying Institute’s 2014 US Workplace Bullying Survey), an astounding 72 percent of employees report that their employers have not done anything to curb bullying in the workplace.

The quickest way to ensure that generalized workplace bullying becomes illegal is for employers to continue to ignore it. If employees continued to report that they are being bullied, and that their employers are not doing anything to stop it, legislatures will step in and pass anti-bullying laws.

So, what should you do? Treat bullying like it’s illegal. Create a workplace culture in which bullying is not permitted to occur.

• Include bullying in your anti-harassment or other workplace conduct policies.

• Train your employees about how you don’t allow bullying, and what to do (i.e., how to report) incidents of bullying.

• When an employee complains about bullying, don’t ignore it, investigate it.

• After the investigation, implement corrective actions, commensurate with the severity of the conduct, to reasonably insure that it does not reoccur.

You might think it’s OK to ignore bullying in your workplace because there is no law against it, but legislatures won’t. They will fill the void with laws that you will not like (and, if the Workplace Bullying Institute’s survey is anywhere close to accurate, 72 percent is a big void). Do right by your employees. Do not give legislatures any reason to pass over-reaching laws that will hamper your ability to manage your employees.

Heed these words, which I wrote all the way back in 2011:

Businesses need to have the discretion to manage their workforces. Anti-bullying laws will eviscerate that discretion. Just because generalized bullying is not illegal does not mean that employers lack incentive to act preventively and responsively. To the contrary, the marketplace creates the incentive to treat employees well. Bad bosses beget revolving-door workforces, doomed to failure. Good bosses create loyalty and retain good employees, which breeds success. Imposing liability merely for being subjected to a bad boss sets a dangerous precedent that will eliminate the “at will” from all employment relationships.

Or, to put it in simpler terms, do the right thing, or the government will eventually make you.


Jon Hyman is a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. He is a Workforce contributing editor. For more information, contact Hyman at (216) 736-7226 or Follow Hyman on Twitter at @JonHyman. You can also follow him on Google Plus.


For the record, WBI agrees with every word! Employers do these things voluntarily and you won’t have to fear the Healthy Workplace Bill when it is enacted in your state. We help motivated employers.

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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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WDRB-TV: Does Kentucky need a workplace bullying law?

Monday, November 11th, 2013

By Lindsey Allen, WDRB-TV, Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 11, 2013

WDRB 41 Louisville News

Are laws needed to protect workers from bullying in the workplace? 25 states have filed legislation pushing for a “Healthy Workplace Law”. Should Kentucky be next?

Andrea Deacon describes herself as a successful business woman but while employed by a fortune 100 company in Louisville, she claims she became a victim, of workplace bullying. The Workplace Bullying Institute defines it as: “Repeated health harming abusive conduct committed by bosses or co-workers”

Deacon said, “When it has an impact on your health mentally and emotionally that’s how you know it goes above and beyond what is, or should be considered acceptable in the workplace.”

Deacon says she climbed her way to the top through hard work but her career came to a screeching halt when the bullying started.

“Underhanded threats about removing you from the team…It made you feel helpless because when I reached out for help there was none given,” she said.

She says the human resources department couldn’t help because she wasn’t harassed because of her gender, religion, race or sexual orientation.

“If you’re not in one of those social groups and you’re still being abused at work by this type of harassment you have no protection and you have no support,” said Deacon.

That’s why Deacon and more than 150 others have signed this petition calling on Kentucky Legislatures to pass the Healthy Workplace Bill. It’s a bill that’s already been introduced in 25 states. It would enable workers to seek legal action for health harming cruelty at work while holding the employer accountable. The Workplace Bullying Institute estimates 35% of the U-S workforce has been bullied. Another 15% has witnessed it.

“We teach our kids every day that bullying is wrong but when they enter the workplace but when they enter the workplace, if this bill isn’t passed, there’s going to be no help for them,” she said.

Andrea Deacon, Healthy Workplace Bill, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute

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Forbes: How to Deal With a Bullying Boss

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

By Jacquelyn Smith

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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Essay from Anita Ferroni, Utah Teachers United, Midvale

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Not All School Bullies Are Kids
by Anita Ferroni, City Weekly, Salt Lake City, March 7 2012

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute survey of 2007, 37 percent of workers have been bullied, and 72 percent of those were bullied by their bosses. No workplace is immune to it. This is a serious and underestimated problem, even in institutions of learning, where one might think that the administrations in our public schools would be above such a thing.


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National survey finds support for workplace bullying law

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Labor Day 2010 research findings from the Workplace Bullying Institute national scientific survey shows support for the Healthy Workplace Bill.

The question asked: “Do you support or oppose enactment of workplace bullying laws that would protect all workers from what can be considered malicious, health-harming abusive conduct committed by bosses and co-workers?” This is the language of the HWB. Here are the results for the entire national sample as well as by political ideology and race.

YES = all support Strongly Support Somewhat Support Not Sure/ No Opinion Somewhat Oppose Strongly Oppose
National sample 64.2% 37.5% 26.7% 12% 10.8% 13%
Liberals 89.5 62 27.5 4.3 2.4 3.8
Moderates 77.8 48.2 29.6 10.5 7.5 4.2
Conservatives 47.1 20.5 26.6 13.6 16.9 22.5
African-Americans 73.2 54.8 18.4 12.9 5.1 8.8
Hispanics 65.9 40.9 25 5.7 11.2 17.2
Asians 63.8 37.5 26.3 19.7 5.1 11.4
Whites 63 34.2 28.8 12.4 11.8 12.8

For comparison, consider that the Sunday newspaper magazine, Parade, asked the same question in a July 18, 2010 article titled: “Workplace Bullying: Do We Need a Law?” The magazine’s online poll results found overwhelming support for a law — 92% yes.

According to a WBI Instant Poll posted on July 23, 2010, 96.8% of 252 online respondents stated their support for a workplace bullying law.

Readers will want to digest Suffolk Law Professor David Yamada’s thorough and thoughtful Labor Day 2010 analysis of the liberal, moderate and conservative features of the Healthy Workplace Bill. He is the bill’s author.

WBI Research Director, Gary Namie, PhD
© 2010, Workplace Bullying Institute

Survey 1: Zogby International was commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute to conduct an online survey of 4,210 adults from 8/4/10 to 8/11/10. A sampling of Zogby International’s online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 1.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. The MOE calculation is for sampling error only. Totals in topline reporting may not equal 100% due to rounding.

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More News from Capitol Hill

Friday, April 30th, 2010

On Wednesday morning (4/28) , Dr. Namie met with Americans for Democratic Action. Then he joined forces with Jonathan Lackland, Director of the Illinois Association of Minorities in Government and WBI Illinois State Coordinator, and Maryland State Coordinator, Maria Allwine, to meet with legal counsel for both the Senate HELP Committee (chaired by Sen. Tom Harkin) and the HELP Subcommittee (chaired by Sen. Patty Murray). Throughout the afternoon, he attended meetings with the staff of Sen Sherrod Brown (OH) and Sen Al Franken (MN). The day ended with a meeting with NFFE federal union employee officers. Another long, productive, and rewarding day in DCl!

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