Archive for the ‘Good News’ Category
Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Just in time for WBI’s Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week, James Woodson, Tuscaloosa Senior Assistant City Attorney introduced and the city council passed its first-ever workplace bullying policy (Ordinance No. 8144, Oct. 14, 2014). As documented elsewhere at the WBI site, a policy is necessary but not sufficient to comprehensively prevent and correct bullying. But it is a good preliminary step by any employer. Tuscaloosa will follow with training for staff and managers. We commend Mr. Woodson and the council. Woodson told his local TV station
“It wasn’t that many years ago that employers were adopting for the first time sexual harassment policies, then that became anti-harassment policies, and I think this is a natural extension to bullying, to essentially catch all of the inappropriate workplace behavior.”
[Earlier in 2014, Tennessee became the first state to encourage government agencies as employers to adopt policies to address abusive conduct.]
Here are the policy’s strengths and shortcomings.
Tags: abusive conduct, Alabama, HR, policy, Tuscaloosa, workplace bullying policy
Posted in Freedom Week, Good News, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Friday, October 17th, 2014
County Declares No Tolerance for Workplace Bullying
By Lyn Jerde, Portage (WI) Daily Register, Oct. 16, 2014
Andy Ross made it clear at the outset: Nobody is saying that there are bullies working for Columbia County.
But, in urging the County Board Wednesday to approve a resolution proclaiming Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week, Ross said the county’s top governing body should reiterate the importance of a bully-free workplace.
Ross is a member of the County Board’s Human Resources Committee, which offered the resolution, which the County Board approved unanimously.
The Workplace Bullying Institute, based in Bellingham, Washington, started largely because one of the founders, Ruth Namie, once had a “boss from hell,” according to information on the Workplace Bullying Institute’s website. In the 1990s, she wrote, there was little legal recourse for victims of workplace harassment if the harassment wasn’t overtly racist or sexist.
The Institute defines workplace bullying as “a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved.” This kind of bullying usually doesn’t entail physical threats, but rather deliberate emotional and psychological abuse.
Ross told the County Board that the resolution puts the county on record that such behavior won’t be tolerated in any Columbia County department.
“This is one of those topics that we wish we didn’t have to address,” he said.
The topic is being addressed, Ross noted, in ongoing management and leadership training that has been provided, first to county department heads and later to lower-level managers in county departments. The training, offered through Madison Area Technical College, will focus this fall on how managers can avoid bullying behavior.
“Depending on how old you are,” Ross said, “it may be something that was acceptable, and pretty common, years ago. But we can’t tolerate it anymore.”
Tags: Andy Ross, Columbia County, Freedom from workplace bullies week, Portage Wisconsin, proclamation, resolution, workplace bullying
Posted in Freedom Week, Good News, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI Education, WBI in the News | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Monday, September 29th, 2014
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
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.
Tags: Arthur S. Demoulas, Arthur T. Demoulas, Artie T., boycott, CEO, family feud, Market Basket, workers
Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Good News, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Zappos, the little retailer that grew to be acquired by Amazon.com in 2009, has grown immensely under CEO Tony Hsieh, splitting into 10 separate companies. The company is a financial success. Additionally, its fame rests on a quirky corporate culture in its humane approach to employees. See these unique core values.
One unique Zappos practice was to offer employees $1,000 to quit on their 90-day anniversary of joining the company. Tim Sackett, an irreverent HR writer who understands the best and worst of HR, astutely pointed out that few corporations are bold enough to make such an offer for fear the good talent will walk. No guts in the HR dept. or confidence in the perceived quality of the workplace culture makes chickens of C-suite dwellers was his point.
Five years after the acquisition, Amazon will adopt the Zappos practice of offering Pay to Quit.
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
It would be great if bosses would leave us alone at home, during family time and on weekends. But it is not the American way, nor the Brit way, nor the French way.
Recent hyperbolic mis-reporting stated that a new French “law” protected workers from bosses contacting them after 6 pm. Oops.
The real news was the inclusion in two union bargaining agreements covering about 250,000 mid-level managers in tech industries. Those workers are subject to erratic schedules, and up to 78-hour work weeks, unlike other workers (who average 39.5 hour weeks) despite a 35-hour work week limit on the books. And the terms of the agreements have not yet been approved by the Labor Ministry.
So, to reduce stress (a tiny bit), the new agreements with employers “oblige” (not order, not mandate under threat of punishment) workers “to disconnect from remote communications tools” outside of normal working hours, whatever those hours might be — not expressly 6 pm. In other words, the onus is on the worker to turn off the employer when away from work for at least 11 hours (and that includes sleeping).
This gesture is a nod to the European notion that quality of life still can matter. Workaholism is not accepted without complaint. French workers engage in strikes and work stoppages. The French take to the street to protest social injustice. However, one union official made this conciliatory remark to the NY Times
“We also wouldn’t like this to squeeze businesses and cause them problems.”
The fact that the roots of the workplace bullying movement were sown in the social democratic Scandinavian nations should not be lost on Americans.
Yet, American media scorn the French as if they are lazy and unproductive. As if an overstressed and abused work force is exemplary. I hear the chants now — We’re number 1! Americans meekly accept everything their corporate masters shove down their throats. And public sector unions, the last bastion of organized labor, are being gutted by malicious state legislatures and governors hell bent on privatizing America. Few fight back out of fear. Why?
The French are not to be mocked. In fact, French unions are trying to hold on to an eroding leverage themselves. The globalized world dominated by multinational corporations have convinced all governments to step aside and let businesses operate without rules or limits.
In Germany, Volkswagen forbade supervisors from contacting workers after hours and shut down its servers to stop e-mail and phone calls. Deutsche Telekom also invoked a communications-free time ensuring that managers have no right to expect workers to answer supervisors’ calls or e-mails while away from work.
It would be far better if Americans voluntarily unplugged themselves from their work-provided phones and devices. They couldn’t track us in our bedrooms with remotely launched laptop cameras. The NSA would have no record of our interactions. And we would sleep more peacefully. The trouble is that employers have convinced too many of us to be afraid, very afraid. Oh, well. Maybe someday.
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
The Massachusetts anti-bullying legislation, the Healthy Workplace Bill — HB 1766, passed the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. As of April 7, it is slated for a vote by all members of the House of Representatives. We all stand with the advocates on the ground there — the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Advocates — wish them success. You can track progress on the bill at the MA State Page of the HWB website.
Tags: bullying legislation, HB 1766, Healthy Workplace Bill, law, MA, Massachusetts, Massachusetts healthy workplace advocates, workplace bullying
Posted in Good News, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
The Workplace Bullying Institute and the New Workplace Institute are happy to announce the launch of a joint initiative, the U.S. Academy on Workplace Bullying, Mobbing, and Abuse, which will support and promote the multi-disciplinary work of leading and emerging educators, researchers, practitioners, writers, and advocates who are dedicated to understanding, preventing, stopping, and responding to workplace bullying and related forms of interpersonal mistreatment.
“For over a year, we’ve been contemplating how to bring together an American network of leading and emerging experts on workplace bullying and related topics. The Academy is our conduit for doing so. We look forward to highlighting the good works of these incredible people,” says David Yamada, Suffolk University law professor and New Workplace Institute director.
The Academy has over 50 Fellows including leading psychological researchers, physicians, attorneys, occupational health experts, professors of management, nursing, and communications, counselors, union trainers, military leaders, advocates, and consultants. The complete list of Fellows can be seen at workplacebullyingacademy.com.
“When we started WBI there was one trade unionist and a couple of academic researchers with the courage to focus on workplace bullying. Since then the field exploded exponentially,” says Gary Namie, PhD, Co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, established in 1997. “We recognize the universality of these destructive behaviors, and this network focuses on the unique challenges posed by American employee relations, mental health, and legal systems.”
Tags: abuse, bullying research, David Yamada, Gary Namie, Mobbing, new workplace institute, U.S. academy, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Good News, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Products & Services, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences, Tutorials About Bullying, Unions, WBI Education | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment (
Monday, March 17th, 2014
The Science of “Paying It Forward”
By Milena Tsvetkova and Michael Macy, New York Times, March 14, 2014
Authors of the study: The Social Contagion of Generosity, Cornell University
One morning in December of 2012, at the drive-through window of a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a customer paid for her order and then picked up the tab for the stranger in the car behind her in line. Then that customer paid the bill for the following customer in line — and so on, for the next 226 customers, in a three-hour sequence of spontaneous generosity.
It turns out that such “pay it forward” chains are not unheard-of at Tim Hortons (though they are usually much shorter), and news outlets have reported the emergence of many such chains in a variety of restaurant drive-throughs and tollbooths throughout North America. Last year, a Chick-fil-A in Houston experienced a 67-car chain. A few months later, a Heav’nly Donuts in Amesbury, Mass., had a run of 55 cars.
Why do these things happen? One possibility is that generosity among strangers can be socially contagious. According to this theory, if you receive or observe an act of help, you become more likely to help others, even if your own action won’t be directly reciprocated or rewarded. Rather than repay someone for helping, you “pay it forward” — a phrase popularized by Catherine Ryan Hyde’s 1999 novel of that title (later turned into a movie of the same name).
Tags: altruism, bystander effect, generosity, paying it forward, social contagion
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Good News, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
This may be the happy ending denied so many bullied targets. The most famous of all targets in recent times, Jonathan Martin, has landed a new job. He was traded by the Miami Dolphins, the team with the abusive work environment that compelled him to voluntarily leave, to the 49ers coached by Jim Harbaugh, his college coach at Stanford.
And he’s happy. Read the press account.
WBI research with bullied targets found that after bullying, 29% made more money, 37% were not bullied again, 65% were not able to match their lost income, and 26% never found another job. So, Jonathan Martin is one of the lucky ones. Of course, he still has to win a job on the 53-man roster this summer, but at least he has been given the chance.
We wish him luck.
Tags: Jonathan Martin, locker room culture, Miami Dolphins, NFL, workplace bullying
Posted in Good News, NFL: Jonathan Martin, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (