Archive for the ‘Media About Bullying’ Category


NYT: Work without purpose or meaning for workers

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

The June 1, 2014 New York Times guest OpEd by Tony Schwarz and Christine Porath explains the results of an Energy Project survey that found workers worldwide get very little from their work other than a paycheck. They are denied fulfillment the way work is currently designed. Are you paying attention HR???

It is also noteworthy that Christine Porath is co-author with Christine Pearson (academic incivility researcher) of The Cost of Bad Behavior, a book very much related to workplace bullying.


Why You Hate Work
By Tony Schwarz and Christine Porath

The way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep.

Increasingly, this experience is common not just to middle managers, but also to top executives.

(more…)

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Puerto Rico acts on the Healthy Workplace Bill

Friday, June 6th, 2014

If you are new to being bullied at work, you necessarily are consumed by righting the wrong and healing from the self-blame and shame that accompanies it. If you are reading this, you have discovered the WBI website that confirms you did nothing wrong, nor did you deserve the denigration, humiliation or ostracism.

You might have missed the fact that since 2001 we have spearheaded the effort in states to pass a law that would have given you a chance to threaten your employer with a lawsuit. Without the threat of a law, US employers are letting the perpetrators run with impunity. And that doesn’t even count bullying done on behalf of executives and senior managers.

The name of our legislation is the Healthy Workplace Bill. Volunteer Coordinators in 36 states have managed to get the bill introduced in 26 states and in 2 territories — the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The process is just beginning in the USVI, but progress is significant in PR.

Senator Rosanna Lopez Leon was the prime sponsor of S 501. The bill passed all committees, and both Camara (House) and Senado (Senate) floor votes. Reconciliation of the different versions was completed on June 3.

The bill addresses “acoso laboral” the special cases of harassment we define as workplace bullying and mobbing. The bill speaks about “the dignity of every human being, particularly in the area of employment.”

The bill awaits Gov. Padilla’s signature. Call his office to implore him to make the bill law.

(more…)

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Tennessee: Progressive? Still Racist?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

A good news / bad news tale. First, the good. On June 3, the Gov. signed a law encouraging public sector employers to adopt policies to address abusive conduct, the way WBI defines workplace bullying. Kudos go to brave Rep. Antonio Parkinson who took the full version of our Healthy Workplace Bill through several committees. The bill did not survive intact, but the state is the first state to adopt a policy-driven approach taken by several counties and cities across the country. Read the details at the TN State Page of the HWB website.

Sadly, on the same week, Memphis WREG-TV-3 reported the Jim Crow era-like conduct of a white supervisor at a cotton warehouse toward black workers. No water fountain, no microwave, the days of segregation were good! The owner said he “outsources management services.” Watch the story that is the basis of an EEOC discrimination case.

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An alternative treatment for psychological trauma

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Many bullied targets experience trauma-like symptoms but don’t always have diagnosed PTSD. They suffer intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, avoidance and dissociation. Successful recovery using current treatment techniques is rare. Targets are in search of alternatives. A report in the May 22, 2014 New York Times Magazine by Jeneen Interlandi describes one such alternative.

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. uses an untested technique to deal with complex trauma and PTSD victims that he calls a “structure,” also called psychomotor therapy, developed by a dancer.

(the victim) would recreate the trauma that haunted him most by calling on people in the room to play certain roles. He would confront those people — with his anger, sorrow, remorse and confusion — and they would respond in character, apologizing, forgiving or validating his feelings as needed. By projecting his “inner world” into three-dimensional space, (the victim) would be able to rewrite his troubled history more thoroughly than other forms of role-play therapy might allow. If the experiment succeeded, the bad memories would be supplemented with an alternative narrative — one that provided feelings of acceptance or forgiveness or love.

Van der Volk, a trained psychiatrist, runs the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Mass.

Van der Volk claims the two most common methods of dealing with trauma — exposure therapy and CBT. Exposure relies on repeated confronting the painful memories until they lose their power. It’s called desensitization. CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy used by most psychotherapists. van der Volk contends that trauma resets the primitive (sub-cortical deeper than cognitive awareness) regions of the brain to “interpret the world as a dangerous place.” Therefore, he argues, cognition cannot affect it.

He believes that traumatic experiences are stored in the body. His new book is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (released Sept. 2014).

He believes people’s bodies failed them — legs had not run quickly enough, arms had not pushed powerfully enough, voices had not screamed loudly enough — to avoid disaster.

“The single most important issue for traumatized people is to find a sense of safety in their own bodies”

The key is to reconnect the mind to the body’s sensations. To cope, trauma victims engage is self-numbing to avoid the physical discomfort that comes from reliving painful experiences. Over time, victims get stuck in the past and cannot live in the present. Van der Volk credits yoga, tapping (emotional freedom technique), EMDR, or massage.

He believes labeling all trauma as PTSD is a mistake. PTSD is still defined as acute incidents triggered by a single event. He points out that much trauma is from chronic exposure to abuse and neglect. He wants to distinguish that form from PTSD and call it “developmental trauma disorder.” The DSM does not yet recognize this alternative view.

Several psychotherapists reject learning new things. That’s why we produced Workplace Bullying for Mental Health Professionals. For therapists who do want to learn more about the techniques van der Volk and his associates practice, there is training available.

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The following is remarkable comment that I post here for all to read:

I faced this type of trauma months after the daily 1.5 years of mobbing ended. It lasted for years as the more covert mobbing ensued until I quit (terrorized out) 3 years later. I thought I would never heal from the intense anger, upset, hurt, recurrent thoughts/replays and hypervigilence… my brain felt dehydrated and I had difficulty with short-term memory loss. It was when I took a trip to Thailand 5 months after I quit that I was given a farewell hug from a tour guide (after I paid the day before). He was a monk through high school, and the message he imparted to me was of absolute love and acceptance. It shocked me to my core, and brought me back instantly to a sense of healing and happiness. I credit him with saving my psychological life, if not my physical one. I went back immediately to Thailand to volunteer teach among the monks for 3 months, and have taken up massage training to help others with stress/PTSD. I know the depths of trauma this type of abuse creates. No one should have to suffer it, and more need to understand it.

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



NPR: Workplace bullying and the Healthy Workplace Bill

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

States Consider Bills To Crack Down On Workplace Bullies
By Yuki Noguchi, National Public Radio (NPR), May 27, 2014

Listen to the NPR audio segment

NPR-May 27, 2014

Bullying is a behavioral problem often associated with children in grade school, but according to the Workplace Bullying Institute more than a quarter of American workers say they’ve experienced abusive conduct at work.

Now, many states are considering laws that would give workers legal protections against workplace abuse.

Lisa-Marie Mulkern says her boss — the commandant of a retirement home for veterans in New Hampshire — turned on her after she expressed concerns about what she calls wasteful financial management. Mulkern was working as a public-relations manager and fundraiser at the home.

“Even though residents and their families had nothing but praise for my work, and the home’s publicity continued to increase, the commandant started to make my work situation a living hell,” she says.

Mulkern says she was repeatedly excluded from meetings and denied credit for her work and access to critical information. Colleagues took notice but treated her like she was contagious. “And I was told point blank, ‘You’re on your own with that one, Lisa-Marie,’ ” she says.

Mulkern says she lost weight and sleep from the stress.

“I didn’t realize how much of a toll it was taking on me. I was the public face of the home, and I was trying to look the part of the PR person and not let people know that personally, I was being pummeled at work,” she says.

In 2006, after four years working at the retirement home, Mulkern tangled with her boss over a bad evaluation, and lost her job. The current commandant of the home declined to discuss Mulkern’s case, citing state privacy laws. But Mulkern has since testified several times before the New Hampshire legislature, which is one of 15 states, including, and,that are considering bills giving legal protection to workers harmed in abusive work environments.

(more…)

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Got a Minute? Bullying & Brain

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Media About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



IDG: Workplace bullying in technology companies

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Is Bullying Rife in Tech? by Kathryn Cave, IDG Connect, (UK) May 21 2014

“It was quite insidious,” says Alex [false name]. “The odd comment here or there. And he’d work his way through the team. Then he started on me and I stood up to him… and it got really ugly. Really ugly – to the point where I went and got a lawyer.”

“I am a really strong person,” continues Alex. “Anyone that knows me is just shocked by what went on. But he undermined me so much, it was this whole campaign. It got to the point where you think: am I imagining this is happening? It was very manipulative and subtle: complete psychological and mental bullying. It was awful. And it wasn’t [just] a mental health issue. It was a physical thing. One day I literally started hemorrhaging blood…”

It is at this point that the naysayers will often step in. If it is female being described she would be casually dismissed as “emotional” and most likely “always running to HR”. If it is a male, this it would be the moment to give a kind of appalled snort: clearly he should “man up” and learn to deal with “tough management”.

Yet throughout our conversation, it is plain to see that Alex is extremely bright and analytical; not overtly weak or emotional. This is a firm, likeable and very self-possessed person. And still, although this happened five years ago, Alex is only starting to get over the experience now.

22% of IT Professionals Have Taken Time Off For Stress

The latest research from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), released in Feb 2014 [PDF] shows 27% of adult Americans have directly experienced “repeated abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or work abuse.” And Dr. Namie, Director of WBI and widely regarded as North America’s foremost authority on workplace bullying, stresses this figure would have been far higher, if he had been less stringent with the definition.

(more…)

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News, WBI Surveys & Studies | 3 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



El Dorado County

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Recently El Dorado County (CA) Employees have begun to speak up about a culture of bullying. The most impressive example comes from Mike Applegarth, who does a great job making the business case and calling for workers to be protected.

The Board of Supervisors seem prepared to act and have an obvious respect for Mr. Applegarth. It becomes more difficult since the main perpetrator, Auditor Controller Joe Harn, is an elected official, making him seemingly immune from normal employee evaluation or punishment. The possibiity of public censure was raised by the board, as well as a county legal expert.

One thing is clear, employees in El Dorado County have been suffering for too long and things need to change.

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Chico State Orion: Employees face workplace bullying

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Chico State and the rest of the California State Universities struggle with institutional bullying, causing health issues and fear among employees.

By Yessenia Funes, The Orion, Chico State (CA) University, April 24, 2014

A Chico State employee spends nights awake in bed.

The next day at work, the employee is welcomed by threats from a supervisor and singled out — micromanaged and stripped of the ability to make work-related decisions. Disturbing comments are made behind closed doors. Performance evaluations are held when no one else is in the office.

“I’m actually ill from all this. I can’t sleep at night. I cry as soon as I leave work. I’m paranoid that my supervisor will come into my office and fire me,” wrote the employee in a set of anonymous comments prepared by a labor union representative for Chico State.

Bullied high school students often make the news, but what about university employees?

Tom Dimitre, Chico State’s labor representative for the California State University Employees Union, spends 30-40 percent of his time handling union members’ bullying complaints, he said.

He works with employees in the Student Health Center and Facilities Management and Services, which Dimitre said generate the most bullying complaints. Clerical personnel are also common, he said.

These employees aren’t the only ones who face bullies, said Vincent Ornelas, Chico State’s former president for California Faculty Association’s Chico State chapter.

Ornelas constantly heard bullying complaints during his two-year term leading the union chapter, which handles lecturers, coaches, librarians and counselors, he said.

Combined, the two unions include 95 percent of campus employees, and both Ornelas and Dimitre agree — bullying is an issue at Chico State.
(more…)

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The Street: Recognizing that you are being bullied at work

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Don’t Be a Victim: 7 Signs YOU are a Victim of Workplace Bullying
By Keris Alison Lahiff, The Street, May 3, 2014

For the average American, the majority of waking hours are spent at work, whether it be in a cubicle, on the trading floor or out in the field. In such close proximity to colleagues, and for such an extended period of time, it’s little wonder conflicts arise.

However, the difference between naturally-occurring disagreements and all-out harassment is an important distinction. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), a national organization committed to raising awareness, office harassment is an issue in desperate need of attention.

According to its recent 2014 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, 27% of American workers have suffered abusive conduct at work, while another 21% have witnessed it. WBI estimates the number of U.S. workers subjected to abusive conduct totals 37 million.

(more…)

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