Archive for the ‘WBI Education’ Category
Friday, February 20th, 2015
I worked for the USPS for over twenty-five years. I never had problems with coworkers and was considered a good employee. After suffering personal problems, I noticed a change towards me from my coworkers. After being told that we were going to move to a larger facility, I became very excited at the thought of meeting new people. After we moved to the new location, things got steadily worse. Since there was very little supervision this went on daily without notice. I thought that surely these new people had a mind of their own.That someone would like me. But it appeared that things were being said about me. Things being said that I didn't know about. It was obvious that the other people were choosing to believe what they were told. I am a quiet person who suffers from depression. I was getting worse by the day.
One day after having about enough, I went to the post master crying. Not only did he not take my side, the accused saw me crying. Because of my mental state, it was very difficult to control my emotions. Through gossip, I was told that they were out to get me fired.
I confessed to my supervisor one day that I drank alcohol before work to control my feelings. I was let go on the spot and have not been back since. This was last spring. I will not go back since I know that nothing has changed.
I was a subject of gossip. I was left out of daily routines. (People were told not to talk to me) also I had problems with parking that was very dangerous to myself. I was watched daily and told on to supervisors.
I can prove everything, because it is all true. My regret is that I had not used alcohol to handle my problems. But I know in my heart that I am the victim.
a former Postal Worker
Thursday, February 12th, 2015
When the Bully is the Boss
A joint production of the Workplace Bullying Institute and Biz21 Publishing
Many companies assume they don’t have a bullying problem. Employees get along. In meetings, team members respect each other. But look closer. You might find that the bully is the very person you would expect your employees to turn to if they are being bullied—the boss.
Some managerial bullying is unintentional — supervisors see themselves as “demanding results.” Other times bosses know their behavior crosses the line, but don’t care.
Not convinced? Consider the slew of new state laws protecting workers against bullying. And consider the number of companies that have rushed to adopt anti-bullying policies and procedures for investigating complaints.
The costs are real. The employee’s health can suffer, causing missed work, higher healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Bullied employees are also a flight risk, as are those who witness bullying. And there’s the threat of lawsuits against the company.
In this session, Dr. Gary Namie teaches you:
• How to recognize and respond to a bully boss
• What differentiates “bullying” from other conduct- both illegal (discrimination) and legal (non-abusive disagreements)
• Why the workplace climate may be allowing the bully to prosper
• Why owners and executives often tend to defend bullies
• How to build an abuse-intolerant, accountable culture for all employees, regardless of rank
• How to measure outcomes of anti-bullying activities that benefit both employees and the company.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
The WBI State Coordinators are hard at work meeting with legislative sponsors for the WBI anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill. Here’s a status report. As of Feb. 10 …
• North Dakota became the 27th state to introduce something — HB 1428. That something is a simple paragraph declaring that public sector employers have to address harassment, ostensibly not just the currently illegal variety of discriminatory misdeeds. The bill cleared the House on a 91-0 vote and is on to the Senate for consideration. Visit the ND State page at the HWB website for details.
• Connecticut has a somewhat related bill — SB 432. It creates an “advisory board,” akin to past study groups and task forces that lawmakers use to delay taking any real action. Visit the CT State page at the HWB website for details.
• Utah’s HB 216 is the boldest of the small step bills to date. It requires employers to address the HWB’s definition of health-harming abusive conduct by providing annual training. Better than California’s recently implemented training mandate, Utah would require coverage of not only the definition of the phenomenon, but its effect on worker’s health and a description of what remedies the employer has in effect. Visit the UT State page at the HWB website for details.
• We saved the best for last. New York returns to lead the nation with a complete Healthy Workplace Bill in the Assembly — A 3250. The bill provides legal redress for employees harmed by abusive conduct. It rewards proactive employers who voluntarily protect workers with adequate policies and procedures with a litigation prevention mechanism. It defines the phenomenon and applies to employers in both private and public sectors. Our State Coordinators continue to set the highest bar for comparison. A 3250 has 80 co-sponsors. The Senate companion bill is in the works. Visit the NY State page at the HWB website for details.
Stay tuned for major developments as additional states come on board.
Tags: bills, Gary Namie, Healthy Workplace Bill, laws, legislation, prevention, state laws, Workplace Bullying Institute
Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, WBI Education, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Monday, February 9th, 2015
Proponents for social justice in the #BlackLivesMatter movement seek accountability. The unethical county prosecutor misled the grand jury so it would not hold officer Darren Wilson responsible for the death of Michael Brown. Hence, the hands-up gesture of surrender that Brown used that Wilson ignored as he gunned Brown down on that Ferguson, MO street. Both Wilson and the prosecutor got away without being held accountable.
The wife and surviving children of Eric Garner also seek accountability. NYPD officers Daniel Pantaleo and Justin Damico combined a chokehold and physical restraint to kill Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk while a witness filmed the episode. The grand jury there also let the officers walk away without facing consequences for taking a life.
Then, in Cleveland, 12-y.o. Tamir Rice was gunned down within seconds by Timothy Loehmann as his patrol car rushed to the public park scene where Tamir was playing by himself. Loehmann’s employment record showed him to be too incompetent in handling firearms for a small city police squad before he found a job with the Cleveland PD. Rice is dead because the Cleveland PD ignored early career warning signs about Loehmann. He also failed his written entrance exam for Cleveland employment.
The headline-grabbing, media-saturation stories “surprised” white TV viewers who had no appreciation of the ongoing abuse black men face at the hands of police. They were Furthermore, because of implicit (unstated or attitudes possessed without explicit self-awareness) racism by whites, there was little sympathy for those murdered.
In fact, police violence apologists attempted to guide the public to make what is called the fundamental attribution error. Victims are degraded and treated as though they deserved their fate. The error is behind all “blame-the-victim” scenarios that we perpetuate in the aftermath of personal crimes: rape, campus sexual assault, and even murder victims.
It’s a tug of war between two competing explanatory models: fixing responsibility on perpetrators of violence or seeking faults in victims that made them somehow provocative and deserving their fate.
The overlap with bullied targets is easy to see. When they inform management about their ordeal, they are not believed and retaliated against for tarnishing the perpetrators’ image honed by years of ingratiating themselves to their executive sponsor. Management tends to “circle the wagons,” to grow increasingly defensive. Management should care about the impact of bullying on finances as well as the impact on employee health. Instead, managers tend to deny, discount and rationalize bullying.
Another insult to bullied individuals is the sham investigation done by the employer. Organizations cannot conduct unbiased investigations of themselves. The pressures for individual survival and covering up are too great. Furthermore, HR is a management support function. Therefore, it is management investigating incidents of wrongdoing primarily by managers. Truth is sacrificed for the sake of political expediency.
When investigations conclude with an inability to assign responsibility (the infamous “she said/she said” tie) or the mischaracterization of the abuse as a “personality clash” between bully and target, targets are upset and frustrated. Their sense of justice was shattered by the bullying. A failure to find fault in perpetrators compounds the injustice.
Sadly, of the cases in which bullying has stopped, 77% of targets pay the price by losing the job they had no business losing or they transferred (11%) as if they had done something wrong. Perpetrators bully with impunity.
Bullied targets and witnesses simply want perpetrators to be held accountable.
Accountability is nearly impossible without a policy. It is also impossible when a policy exists but is not applied to all employees at all levels of the organization. Inconsistent or absent enforcement renders the policy ineffective. It is only a collection of positive words and thoughts.
Most policies are created in response to laws. Without laws that provide legal redress for bullied individuals, employers do not voluntarily address abusive conduct in comprehensive ways. They may engage in minimal training (as mandated in California starting in 2015) or be “encouraged” to adopt a policy (as suggested in TN law, effective in 2015). Strong laws will compel good policies, which in turn, make accountability more likely. Help enact the WBI anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill.
Tags: abusive conduct, accountability, American Psychological Association, bullied targets, Cleveland, Eric Garner, Ferguson, Gary Namie, Michael Brown, Staten Island, Tamir Rice, victims, violence, workplace bullying
Posted in Related Phenomena, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Monday, January 5th, 2015
Attention California (& all other) Employers
California AB2053 extracted one paragraph from the WBI Healthy Workplace Bill — the definition of “abusive conduct” and made it mandatory to acquaint supervisors and managers with the phenomenon every two years beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
WBI is the source of the phrase and the U.S. movement. There is no better qualified vendor to provide the necessary information to augment your sexual harassment training than WBI.
WBI produced a brief 20 min. video introduction that can be streamed for intranet posting or run during in-person education sessions.
Only $499. Order today.
Products for HR and employers from the originators of the workplace bullying consulting specialization in America.
Order online or call 360-656-6630
Monday, January 5th, 2015
What doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger
By Virgie Townsend, Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2015
WBI: In this frank and personally revealing essay, the author effectively counters the notion that all traumatic early experiences in life contribute to the construction of a stronger adult character. It’s noteworthy that 44% of bullied targets admit experiencing prior familial abuse in their lives before their workplace experiences with abuse (WBI IP 2013-H).
When I was 15, I attended a writing workshop with a girl who had been sexually abused by a family member, trauma that she explored in her poetry. She said she was offended when people told her: “I’m really sorry that happened to you.” She felt like they were saying they wanted to change her, so she’d reply: “Don’t be. It made me who I am today.”
I also grew up with violence, terrified of a parent who was verbally and physically abusive, and drove drunk with me and my siblings in the backseat. Sometimes this parent would threaten to choke me with a dog collar or would fire off shotgun rounds overhead for the fun of seeing the rest of the family cower. I am glad my classmate found a way to cope with her past, but I can’t be grateful for mine.
I would have been better off without that dog collar, without those years of fear. After such episodes, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. I repeatedly failed state math exams. My immune system was weak. As a child, I had frequent, unexplained fevers, which baffled my pediatrician and led him to test me for cancer.
It was difficult for me to make friends because of the pressure I felt to keep my home life a secret. Between the abuse and my innate shyness, I mostly avoided other kids, which was easy because I was home-schooled until ninth grade. I tried to stay quiet around my peers; I didn’t want to draw attention. And I constantly second-guessed how I acted around them, afraid that I might disgust or anger others, too.
Tags: abuse, child abuse, early life experience, illness, recovery, terror, trauma, verbal abuse
Posted in Bullying & Health, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
A Meaningful New Year’s Resolution: Gain in-depth knowledge about workplace bullying origins & solutions
Friday, January 2nd, 2015
A Meaningful New Year’s Resolution
• To acquire a mastery of all aspects of the workplace bullying phenomenon: history of the international movement, distinguishing bullying from conflict and incivility, profiles of perpetrators and targets, origins and sustaining factors, understanding coworkers’ actions, explaining counterintuitive and nonsensical patterns and practices, solutions for individuals and work teams and unions and managers and employers, introduction to international laws and American attempts to enact legislation.
• To familiarize yourself with the science that provides the knowledge foundation for the movement (over 320 articles provided to you)
• To apply, with legitimate authority, the new knowledge to your workplace in your organizational role, or to teach your union colleagues, or to add the specialty to your professional work, or to become an advocate.
• To overcome employer misunderstandings about, and resistance to eliminating, abusive workplace conduct
• To improve the lives of those currently suffering; to preclude misery for future targeted individuals
There’s only one way to accomplish it … attend WBI’s Workplace Bullying University®
WB University is the nation’s first and only comprehensive training in workplace bullying for professionals. Attendees include entrepreneurs, HR directors, training directors, organizational consultants, EEO investigators, union officers, managers, attorneys, nurses, physicians, academic researchers, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.
Tags: Dr. Gary Namie, Dr. Ruth Namie, education, research, training, Workplace Bullying Institute, Workplace Bullying University
Posted in WBI Education, Workplace Bullying University | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment (
Sunday, December 21st, 2014
At WBI we consistently draw the analogy between domestic violence and abusive conduct at work (the most serious forms of workplace bullying). Our rationale is based on the following commonalities shared by these two forms of abusive relationships:
• The abuser has more power to wield over the abused person
• The abuser unilaterally controls when, where and what method
• Abusers objectify, dehumanize and show contempt for victims
• Society tends to blame victims for their fate
• Victims are expected to solve their problem themselves
• Witnesses rarely intervene
• Institutional responses are delayed, inadequate and not helpful
• Root causes, often embedded societal values, remain unexplored
Advocates working to end domestic, or partner, violence described the myriad of tactics used by abusers using the 8-factor Biderman “chart of coercion.” Albert Biderman interviewed US Air Force pilots who had been captured and tortured during the Korean war. The Chinese taught interrogation techniques to the North Koreans. The piolots described their experiences and Biderman distilled the range of techniques to eight fundamental methods designed to break the will of, and brainwash, the pilots. In 1957, Biderman published his report “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.” [Note that Biderman recognized that torture produces false confessions. The 8-factor report became the model for US torture of prisoners at Guantanamo.] That article was the origin of the Biderman Chart of Coercion.
Domestic violence and child abuse advocates use the Biderman Chart to describe abusers’ tactics in their specialty domains.
Therefore, it is logical for us to apply Biderman’s Chart to workplace bullying, given the parallels with domestic violence. In its most extreme forms, bullying is torture. See the chart below.
Tags: abuse victims, abusers, abusive conduct, abusive relationships, Biderman, Chart of Coercion, interrogation methods, torture, workplace bullying
Posted in Bullying & Health, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Saturday, December 20th, 2014
Poor (salary $44 million) NFL Commissioner Goodell. He has been castigated for his inconsistency of applying standards across teams and individual players, plagued by accusations that team owners interfered with criminal investigations, and hounded, and eventually reversed, by critics for overstepping his authority when leveling draconian punishment against domestic abuser Ray Rice. His incomplete response to the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal was to mandate a lame 1 hour “education session” held in each team’s locker room about respect. Half-ass solutions seem to be the NFL’s history.
In the aftermath of a spate of domestic violence incidents by NFL players and the assembly of a team of external experts in DV prevention comes a new NFL Personal Conduct Policy.
As the expert called in to assist Jonathan Martin’s legal team and to advise Ted Wells, the NFL’s investigator of the abuse levied by three of Martin’s teammates, I heard repeatedly the NFL mantra of “Protect the Shield.” The NFL logo is a shield of sorts and everyone affiliated with the NFL knows that the league of owners takes extraordinary steps to protect its commercial brand, often at the expense of its players without whom there would be no league.
Guided by the “Protect the Shield” principle, NFL commissioners and executives historically ignore player safety for the sake of the game. Witness tthe 2014 settlement of the lawsuit with thousands of former player-plaintiffs accusing the NFL of ignoring known neurological health hazards to which they were exposed causing them to suffer CTE. The settlement temporarily silenced complainants and allowed the NFL to roll into the 2014 season without the cloud of litigation overhead.
Tags: CTE, domestic violence, Jane Randel, Lisa Friel, NFL, policy, protect the shield, Rita Smith, Roger Goodell, workplace bullying
Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Saturday, December 20th, 2014
The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) ruled that McDonald’s, the corporation, acting through its franchisees, violated the rights of its workers who were protesting for higher wages, specifically a $15 hourly wage.
Fast food workers have increasingly and visibly been conducting protests for higher wages and better working conditions for the past two years. Local owners of McDonald’s franchises have retaliated against those workers with punishment by reducing hours, threats, surveillance, interrogations and restrictions on talking with union organizers, and terminations.
Advocates for the workers filed 291 charges against corporate McDonald’s. The NRLB found merit in 78 of them while others are still under investigation.
Corporate McDonald’s claims it has no control over what local owners do. It wants to dodge responsibility for the denial of workers rights. However, the NLRB agreed with groups like Jobs With Justice that the corporation dictates to franchisees very detailed operating standards to maintain consistency across various McDonald’s locations.
So, when a local McDonald’s punishes workers for protesting peacefully and acting together to improve their work lives it is now assumed that the local owner is acting as an agent for the corporate McDonald’s. The NLRB ruled that the franchisees are joint owners.
Regional hearings are set to begin in early 2015 with a settlement deadline of March 30, 2015.
Tags: $15, franchisees, higher wages, Jobs With Justice, McDonalds, mistreatment, NLRB, retaliation
Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (