Archive for the ‘Print: News, Blogs, Magazines’ Category


Kaplan: Nearly Half of Recent Nursing School Graduates Are Concerned About Being Bullied at Work

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Business Wire – August 28, 2014 – Kaplan Survey

For those entering the workforce, typical top-of-mind issues include opportunities for growth, benefits, and job security — but nearly half of those entering the nursing profession voice another concern: being bullied by colleagues. According to a just-released Kaplan survey of over 2,000 nursing school graduates from the class of 2014, 48% say they are concerned about being the victims of workplace bullying or working in a hostile working environment.* The survey also found that 39% personally knew nurses who were victims of workplace bullying or a hostile working environment.

One widely cited study found that approximately 60% of nurses left their first nursing job within six months because of bullying issues or because of a hostile work environment.** And studies conducted over the past decade show there’s a financial cost to this for medical providers, ranging from $22,000 to over $64,400 per turnover. (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/569393_2).

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Artie T. back in saddle at Market Basket – worker revolt successful

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

UPDATE: Success.

We reported in late July about the long-standing feud between second generation owners of the Market Basket grocery store chain in the Northeast. Arthur S. Demoulas fired his cousin Artie T. Workers rose in support because he had done several costly things to help financially strapped workers when the stock market collapse ate up retirement savings. Local politicians called for boycotts of the stores. Shelves ran bare. Governors in two states pled for a solution.

Now, Artie T.’s offer to buy the chain, to remove Artie S., has been accepted by the Board. Artie T. will restore all lost jobs. Artie S. had fired protestors.

Life resumes to normal in a couple of months as the chain reverts to control by Artie T.

This is a very rare story where non-union workers prevailed. A great story. Justice.

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Forbes: Can Boomers Stop The Bullying At Work?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

By Nancy Collamer, Forbes, August 25, 2014

If you saw a young child being pushed around on the playground, chances are you would intervene. But are you equally proactive when you see bullying at work?

While this may sound like a hypothetical question, it’s anything but. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 27% of Americans have been bullied at work, 21% have witnessed it and 72% of us are aware that workplace bullying happens.

Real bullying involves more than just bad management and obnoxious behavior.

How Bullying Can Harm A Victim’s Health

It also means health-harming behaviors that can include verbal abuse, offensive conduct and intentional sabotage. And workplace bullying doesn’t just harm the victim. It leads to poor morale, high turnover and low productivity, which impact the entire organization.

The problem is now so widespread that lawmakers in 15 states have introduced legislation aimed at prodding employers to take the matter seriously or face consequences.

Why Boomers Can Be Effective

So what are you willing to do about it? I ask because many boomers are in management and as a result, some are in a good position to take action. Even if you’re not among your employer’s leadership team, you still might be able to make a difference.

If you’re well respected by colleagues, have good relations with key influencers at your employer or have strong job security, it’s likely easier for you to speak up and get management to take bullying seriously than it is for your younger co-workers.

That is an important advantage. Just like on the playground where bigger kids target weaker ones, the majority of workplace bullying is inflicted from the top down. According to the WBI survey, 56% of it is attributed to bosses, compared to 33% that’s blamed on peers. Given this inherent power imbalance, it’s no surprise that few victims stand up to their abusers.

I want to emphasize that not every boomer is in a position to stand up to workplace bullies.

Many older workers are in precarious job situations and know that if they speak up, they could be fired. That’s especially true in environments where bully behavior is a celebrated part of the workplace culture. (Wolves of Wall Street anyone?)

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ABA: Understanding the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Understanding Workplace-Bullying Legislation
By Randi Melnick
American Bar Association, August 13, 2014

Labor-and-employment attorneys hear countless tales of abuse suffered by employees in the workplace. Employees subjected to mean-spirited or degrading treatment can often feel helpless, or even if they are proactive and make a complaint to human resources, they may simply be told to toughen up, or find a new job. With the realities of today’s increasingly stressful and competitive workplace, it is worth a moment of reflection to consider what level of civility should be expected in the workplace, and what the consequences should be, if any, for those who break such codes of conduct.

Workplaces can have tricky cultural norms, and some people will be more skilled than others at communicating. However, there is a difference between a manager or coworker who lacks tact and one who goes out of his or her way to purposefully target an individual. When one is verbally abused or intimidated, when work is sabotaged, or when humiliation is used as a tactic, that is bullying. And it is not always illegal in the United States.

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Integrity in Sport — Sports Bullying & New NCAA Rules: Sept. 11 Sports Law and Ethics Symposium at Santa Clara University

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The fifth annual Sports Law and Ethics Symposium hosted by the Santa Clara University (CA) Institute of Sports Law and Ethics will cover trending issues like changes in the NCAA, bullying, match-fixing, steroid use, and the opening of the new San Francisco 49ers stadium.

The event will be held at Benson Memorial Center on SCU’s campus Sept. 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This year’s Symposium will feature top speakers from the Bay Area and the nation, from morning keynote speaker and San Francisco 49ers President Paraag Marathe to featured lunchtime speaker, Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Among the topics to be discussed during the Symposium:

Bullying and a Culture of Performance: Positive Coaching Alliance CEO and founder Jim Thompson will lead a discussion with Dr. Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute and expert witness in the Jonathan Martin bullying case; Dr. William Pollack, Harvard Medical School associate clinical professor and author of Real Boys: Rescuing our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood; and Brandi Chastain, Olympic gold medal winner and member of World Cup champion U.S. soccer team.

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Golly Gee Kids, Let’s Stop Workplace Bullying And Just Treat Each Other with Respect

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

By Richard B. Cohen – Employment Discrimination Report – August 4, 2014

Just as last week we re-opened our discussion about the possibility/desirability of enacting legislation to prohibit workplace bullying, it has been reported that the governor of New Hampshire just vetoed such a bill – calling it “well-intentioned” but ultimately “unworkable.”

Chalk up another defeat for anti-bullying legislation, which is batting zero.

The Healthy Workplace Bill

We have not seen the NH bill, but if “workability” is the issue, perhaps New Hampshire should have turned to Prof. David Yamada, of nearby Suffolk University Law School, who is the author of the template legislation that serves as the basis of most of the workplace anti-bullying bills introduced across the country.

We noted last week that he wrote to us on February 25th about our discussion on anti-bullying legislation and said that “I can attest that the need for such legislation is underscored by the terrible inadequacy of existing law, including tort claims (IIED) and other causes of action. … the template bill, a/k/a The Healthy Workplace Bill, sets a relatively high threshold for recovery, higher in fact than hostile work environment standards for sexual harassment. In other words, it’s about creating a cause of action for abuse, not incivility.”

Goodness Gracious — Bullying Can Be Anything!

However, as Law360 reports, “unworkability “resonates with many employers’ concerns that ill-defined workplace bullying laws would invite a wave of meritless employment lawsuits, attorneys say.” Law 360 quotes some incisive comments from various employment attorneys:

One lawyer proposed a more workable solution that no one has seemingly ever thought of: “Everybody should be treated with professionalism and respect, and none of these issues will ever come up.”

Wow — a breathtaking concept! Goodness gracious, what a boffo idea! Wish we thought of that!

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Untrustworthy stupid headlines about workplace bullying

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Upon return from a short break, we found a jaw-dropping headline that cannot be believed.

96% of Workers are Bullied at Work!

The non-discerning press copied the press release from a consulting firm named Vital Smarts who have never been players in the workplace bullying arena. [See the US Academy roster to see who is doing credible and important work in America.]

Why do we at WBI say this company’s finding is not believable? Because they do not provide a definition nor describe their research methodology. We at WBI get a 97% bullied rate when we ask those who complete our online surveys. Of course we do. Who comes to this website seeking solutions to their personal problem and may also complete a survey? Bullied targets and witnesses. Our respondents are a “self-selected,” non-random sample. Our research reports clearly state when studies rely on bullied targets’ opinions only.

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Bullied British doctors

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

British physicians-in-training endure a high level of abuse and bullying.

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the UK agency that license, registers and regulates physicians in the name of serving public safety. The British Medical Association (BMA) is the trade association with physicians as members.

A December 2013 GMC survey of bullying was completed by 54,000 physicians. Overall, 13% claimed to have been victims of bullying; 20% are witnesses to the bullying of others [Note the 2014 U.S. witnessing rate was 21%]. Nearly half of those who reported being bullied were in training. 27% were undermined by a senior physician in a consulting or training role.

Also according to the 2013 study, patient safety was affected by the bullying. Only 5.2% raised concerns about patient safety during their training. By the time the physician is in practice, post-training, the rate drops to 0.4%. It seems the only time doctors connect bullying and abuse to negatively impacting patient safety is when they are just beginning their careers with fresh eyes. Once in place as a professional, the link is ignored.

Both BMA and GMC spokespersons agreed that listening to young doctors working on the front lines is important. In the early stages of their careers, they are most likely to be most sensitive to the safety of patients.

In the U.S. in 2009, JCAHO, the hospital accreditation trade group connected the dots between lateral violence and bullying with threats to patient safety. It issued its “Culture of Safety” standards to be met by all hospitals. But hospitals added very little new to existing policies that have never adequately discouraged bullying and psychological violence in the health care setting.

Back to Britain. In a much smaller survey (of 75 doctors) conducted by the BMA, doctors turned on the patients and complained about them as perpetrators. Over half reported being bullied by a patient at work (though no exact figure could be found, none was provided). Most surveyed physicians said they reported bullying incidents of a doctor by a patient. And the vast majority of doctors said more must be done.

If only they could practice medicine without those bothersome patients! Let me suggest that in the sample of 75 docs were many of the senior docs who had tormented or undermined junior trainees in 2013 and were shown to not care any longer about patient safety in their established practices.

Finally, as the author of so many studies that can be found at this website, I deplore the publication of pie chart results without providing accompanying numbers.

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Wall Street Journal: First State Workplace Bullying Law Has Few Fans

Friday, June 20th, 2014

By Adam Rubenfire – The Wall Street Journal – June 20, 2014

Last month, after a decade of stalled progress in 26 states, advocates of workplace bullying legislation scored their first victory. But they’re not entirely pleased.

Tennessee approved the Healthy Workplace Act on May 22, a law designed to curb verbal abuse at work by making public-sector employers immune to bullying-related lawsuits if they adopt a policy that complies with the law.

Though federal laws outlaw workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and other protected statuses, advocates like Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, are lobbying for laws that recognize the verbal abuse of coworkers regardless of whether they fall under a protected class.

Dr. Namie, a social psychologist, said the Tennessee law doesn’t go far enough. The bill his staff drafted for the legislature would have allowed both public and private employers to be held liable in civil lawsuits regarding incidents of alleged workplace bullying if they failed to enforce policies that recognize and protect workers who claim physical or mental harm as a result of bullying.

However, the signed law applies only to public-sector employers, and administrators aren’t required to follow guidelines that the law ordered a state commission to draft by March 2015. Instead, they’re incentivized to do so in exchange for immunity from potential lawsuits.

Under the new law, individual employees may still be held personally liable for abusive conduct.

(more…)

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American Mustache Institute invokes bullying to support ChiSox pitcher

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

From the American Mustache Institute for all baseball fans and those recognizing the need to protect the rights of, and fighting discrimination against, Mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care, and culture of the lower nose forest.

Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was recently forced to shave his beard by fledgling field manager Robin Ventura. Seeing this as a stark violation of Mr. Sale’s civil liberties, the American Mustache Institute filed legal papers and sent the following correspondence to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn.

Mr. Hahn,

It has recently come to the attention of the American Mustache Institute that the field manager for the Chicago White Sox, Mr. Robin Ventura, is forcibly intimidating pitcher Chris Sale, among other players with decorated histories of striking out, to remove his preferred style of facial hair.

As Mr. Sale recently conveyed to the Chicago Sun-Times, “I got a call from the front office saying my beard was too scruffy and it had to go.” You then, in turn, confirmed to the Times that, “the ‘clean it up’ order came” from manager Mr. Ventura, a clean-shaven mortal.

On one hand, we were bemused to learn there is a male character outside of the Batman series named “Robin.” Secondarily, your beard-genocide-focused team policy has driven Mr. Sale to embrace a Mustached American lifestyle, which improves good looks by an estimated 38 percent according to AMI research and has been proven to enhance athletic performance by an estimated 63.7 percent.

However, Mr. Ventura’s edict violates Mr. Sale’s fundamental workplace rights and has contributed to a hostile work environment therein. The White Sox are not, of course, alone in this endeavor. A 2010 poll conducted for Bellingham, Washington-based Workplace Bullying Institute said that 37 percent of U.S. workers – some 54 million people – believe they have been subjected to a workplace “hostility.”

(more…)

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