July 14th, 2014

Workplace Bullying: Support for U.S. Laws


Question: Do you support or oppose enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated abusive mistreatment in addition to protections against illegal discrimination and harassment?

The respondents who answered this question were individuals who were directly bullied, those who had witnessed it, the few who were perpetrators, and those with no personal experience but who believed it happened and those who believed it was exaggerated. Those groups taken together constituted the American public who were “aware” of abusive conduct at work, the 72% (See National Prevalence).

It is clear that those respondents, the American public aware of abusive conduct, want to see worker protections extended beyond the anti-discrimination statutes – 93% support specific anti-bullying legislation.

Furthermore, 50% of Survey respondents self-defined as Conservatives strongly support the Healthy Workplace Bill. With such little opposition from
those expected to oppose the bill, it is a certain conclusion that now is the time for passage of this new law.

Thanks to the pollster we had several demographic groups upon which to compare levels of support. Support for a law was uniformly high regardless of group affiliation: 91% of men, 95% of women, 88% of 18 to 29 year olds, 94% of 30 to 49 year olds, 93% of 50 to 64 year olds, 94% of those with no college degree, 92% of college graduates, 93% of whites, 93% of African Americans, 99% of Hispanics, 93% of union workers, 93% of non-union workers, 93% of NASCAR fans, 90% LGBT people, 85% of tea party sympathizers, and 99% of occupy wall street sympathizers.

The phrasing of the prevalence question in this 2014 Survey, “repeated mistreatment: abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse,” is the definition used in the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB). The HWB is the legislation that has been introduced in 26 states (as of the date of this Survey) but has not yet been enacted into law. The public that is aware of bullying believes it is time.

Download the Support for a U.S. Law mini-Report


Gary Namie, PhD, Research Director
Research Assistants: Daniel Christensen & David Phillips

© 2014, Workplace Bullying Institute, All Rights Reserved

Download the complete Report | Access individual sections of the Report

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