November 7th, 2012

Fulton County Georgia next to get Workplace Bullying policy & procedures

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.

The rationale for a policy includes:

• existing Fulton County Anti-harassment and Workplace Violence Policy and Procedures are inadequate to fully address bullying in the workplace, and

• adoption and implementation of a policy prohibiting bullying in the workplace would promote a healthy and congenial workplace environment and result in a variety of benefits, including improved efficiency and productivity levels, increased employee job satisfaction and morale, and decreased turnover rates.

The resolution further creates the new Policy & Procedures (100-46). It applies to all Fulton County employees, department heads and elected or appointed officials paid by the Fulton County Finance Department (Payroll Division), including part-time and non-permanent employees.

The policy defines abusive conduct, assault, intimidating behavior, threat, and workplace violence. Employees are expected to remove themselves from the threat as soon as possible and to report the misconduct. However, authority is granted to circumvent the chain of command when the offender is a supervisor and take the matter directly to the County Manager.

Supervisors must take steps to protect the alleged victim(s), including separation from the alleged perpetrator(s). Supervisors must investigate; employees must cooperate.

The minimum penalty for the first offense is 5 day suspension without pay but may lead to dismissal. The second offense brings dismissal. There is no third offense.

This is a remarkably strong Policy that captures many of the features we create when writing policies with organizations. It is not perfect, but the burden of enforcement seems to fall on managers and the chief administrator, the County Manager, not on HR. Details to follow.

Read the Resolution and Policy for yourself.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 at 5:14 pm and is filed under Good News, Related Phenomena, WBI Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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