Archive for the ‘Related Phenomena’ Category


NFL’s new Personal Conduct Policy

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.

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Progress by workers against McDonald’s for higher wages

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.

You can find the list of actual cases here.

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



EEOC, Whistleblower Protections, and Federal Shutdown

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The Federal Shutdown is hurting the middle class and the working poor the most.

A co-coordinator for the California Healthy Workplace Bill Advocate group gave us some more news about the shutdown’s effects on the EEOC and whistleblower protections.
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Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Related Phenomena, The New America | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Biz school study critiqued: Targets of workplace bullying told to be “nice”

Monday, July 8th, 2013

A study recently published drew much attention with headlines such as: Ugly and Nasty People Are Bullied At Work.

Here we go again. More blaming the victim from business school researchers. This time, it was Brent Scott from Michigan State and Timothy Judge from Notre Dame. In their conclusion, they said that their findings could be used by managers to know who was mistreated in their work groups so they, the managers, could help. Wow. As if managers who hear about bullying among coworkers respond with anything but “work it out between yourselves.” These researchers are out of touch with the reality of workplace bullying.

For us at WBI, the larger problem is that the study was not about workplace bullying at all. The term was not mentioned once in the entire article. It was the press relations office at Michigan State that synopsized the study as one involving workers bullied at work. Funny how critics of bullying are willing to tag along when they consider our topic a “hot” one.

Here is my detailed review of the pair of studies done by Scott and Judge. The negative conduct referred to in the article was actually “Counterproductive Work Behavior” (CWB) defined as “behavior intended to hurt the organization or other members of the organization.”

In reality, the accurate headline should have been.

Statistical Equation Suggests Agreeableness
inversely Correlated with Counterproductive Work Behaviors
When Attractiveness is Limited to Older Workers

Just doesn’t sizzle, does it?

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Commentary by G. Namie, Related Phenomena, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



WSJ: Showing Appreciation at the Office? No, Thanks

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

By Sue Shellenbarger, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2012
Article with original artwork.

Don’t expect a big thank-you at work this week. While people may express gratitude when they gather at Thanksgiving, showing appreciation is far from traditional at the office.

Research suggests that employees who feel appreciated are more productive and loyal. But that message hasn’t reached many of those in charge. Some bosses are afraid employees will take advantage of them if they heap on the gratitude. Other managers believe in thank-yous but are nervous about appearing awkward or insincere—or embarrassing the employee they wish to praise.
A common attitude from the corner office is “We thank people around here: It’s called a paycheck,” says Bob Nelson, an employee-motivation consultant in San Diego.

The workplace ranks dead last among the places people express gratitude, from homes and neighborhoods to places of worship. Only 10% of adults say thanks to a colleague every day, and just 7% express gratitude daily to a boss, according to a survey this year of 2,007 people for the John Templeton Foundation of West Conshohocken, Pa., a nonprofit organization that sponsors research on creativity, gratitude, freedom and other topics.

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Fulton County Georgia next to get Workplace Bullying policy & procedures

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Thanks to Fulton County Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards (District 7), the county that encompasses metro Atlanta Georgia will have to address workplace bullying within the county workforce.

On Nov. 7, Edwards introduced his Resolution to establish a “county policy prohibiting bullying in the workplace.” He based much of the language on our Healthy Workplace Bill. The Resolution passed by a vote of 7-0.

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Motivated reasoning blocks “seeing” harm to people

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

We called it schematic processing back when I taught psychology in university. People outside the cognitive social sciences knew it as selective attention. Now the phenomenon is called motivated reasoning. It explains how people on two different sides of an issue can be so certain of their arguments in defense of their positions. Opinions serve as the filter through which evidence is weighed.

“Rational” people, those of us who still believe in the Enlightenment (as all of the U.S. Founding Fathers did and most liberal arts college graduates used to), think facts are facts, that arguments can be won by emphasizing objective unmistakable facts. But in our polarized society, opinions, passed off as facts, muddy facts to the point of unrecognizeability. The other side simply denies the facts by saying that your reality is simply not true. They base their opposition on privately held beliefs (their reasoning is based on other motivations than truth seeking, for example, fear of people trying to harm them or to take their guns away or to force them to become homosexuals, etc.). Thus, rational thought has to be made conditional, “rational” in other words.

A most sickening example happened on Friday June 1.

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Posted in Documentaries, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Related Phenomena | 7 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Bully Apologists Rally to Excuse Adolescent Romney

Friday, May 11th, 2012

“Pranks,” “jocularity,” “no harm, no foul,”did stupid things,” and “if I hurt anyone … I would be very sorry for it and apologize.” Tired old canards and rationalizations by and about school bullies to escape responsibility for their actions. A disingenuous conditional “apology.”

All of this was acceptable in the pre-Columbine era when bullying was considered a harmless rite of passage. But now is now; school bullying is a regular installment in the mainstream media. Hardly a day passes without a story. The documentary by WBI colleague Lee Hirsch, “Bully” is playing in theaters right now. Society frowns on school bullying.

Now comes the story of Republican party leader and presidential candidate Mitt Romney with an image problem — a wooden style. A May 10 Washington Post account of his years at an exclusive Michigan all-boys boarding school, Cranbrook, recounts stories from classmates. The Romney campaign wants to use evidence of his youthful pranks to prove he was (and therefore implying that he is now) capable of looseness and fun.

However, the WP reporter Jason Horowitz, uncovered a serious 1965 incident in which Romney’s disdain for a classmate drove him to assault and battery. Romney was incensed by fellow student John Lauber’s new bleached blonde hairstyle. Romney told then dorm roommate Matthew Friedmann that Lauber “can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” Four witnessing students went on record with independent accounts of Romney carrying scissors leading a posse (“pack of dogs” according to one participant) down the hall to Lauber’s room where they tackled him, pinned him down while he screamed and teared up, and Romney cut off clumps of the hair he hated. “It was a hack job,” recalled Phillip Maxwell, who was in the room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.” To ABC News, Maxwell claimed it was “supreme bullying.”

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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Condescending politico Castellanos

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Alex Castellanos, Republican activist & campaign funder, puts a face to condescension and a frustrated desire to dominate a smarter adversary, Rachel Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, on NBC Meet the Press (4/29/12). Check out his facial contortions after she calls him out for interrupting her, not knowing he is still on camera.

The second point that this clip illustrates are that facts aren’t facts anymore when a rationalist (Maddow) thinks facts are indisuptable and the other side (Castellanos) refuses to acknowledge anything she says. (See Chris Mooney’s new book: The Republican Brain.)

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Related Phenomena | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »



Workplace Bullying is not incivility or mere disrespect

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

What’s in a name? Plenty of power to change.

We at WBI have long recognized that bullied targets cannot even begin to reverse their situation until they acknowledge that their work lives have been severely interrupted by the bullying. They have to name this “thing” that is happening so there is a reason to take action.

Call it workplace bullying or abusive conduct or psychological violence or workplace aggression or mobbing or personal harassment, but call it something other than acceptable behavior (e.g., just management “style” or “personality clash”). Give it a strong name to match the seriousness of the impact on your life.

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Posted in Related Phenomena, Tutorials About Bullying | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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