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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



April 18th, 2014

WBI Workplace Bullying Retreat: A day for restoral, dignity & hope

We announce the first-ever healing workshop for bullied targets and their loved ones.

WBI Workplace Bullying Retreat - A Day for Restoral, dignity and hope

The inaugural Workplace Bullying Retreat will be Saturday May 31 in Bellingham, WA. The one-day Retreat is facilitated by WBI founders, Drs. Ruth and Gary Namie. Attendees will understand the storm that ripped through their lives, its impact on their health, and solutions when employers do nothing to stop it.

“Bullying is perplexing, leaving targeted workers with lingering questions such as ‘Why me?’,” said Dr. Gary Namie. “The retreat is designed to answer those questions so the person can move on with her or his life after bullying.”

This new workshop differs from WBI’s other programs that emphasize education alone. The Retreat is designed to create a validating, encouraging, emotionally positive, healing, and supportive, safe harbor for attendees who have endured emotional abuse.

“No one else has talked with over 10,000 bullied targets like we have,” remarked Dr. Ruth Namie. “We’re proud to create this first-ever, in-person experience just for targets after 17 years of advocacy on behalf of targets.”

Family members are also encouraged to attend in order to learn how to best help their loved one move on toward an abuse-free working life.

The first three scheduled days in 2014 are May 31, June 28, July 19

Discounts are available for the first 10 registrants.

Visit the Retreat page for details.

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Products & Services, WBI Education | Post Comment



April 19th, 2014

Let’s Talk for Kalola: The Bully is the Assistant Principal

Dear Kalola,

My story began 3 years ago when we got a new assistant principal.  The first incident that happened involved myself and my aide at the time. I was told by the principal I was moving grade levels but not to discuss it with anyone.  So I honored the principal’s request.  The assistant principal (AP) told her/his spouse about the change and the spouse told my aide who was shocked that nothing was said to him/her.  My AP called me into the office and yelled at me for telling people.  I pointed out that I did not and directed the AP to her/his spouse.  The spouse admitted leaking the “secret”. Although small it really bothered me that AP heard gossip and based on that attacked me.  The next events centered around MAP testing. He/She did not want us to use scrap paper.  We fought and pleaded.  We contacted our assessment coordinator who finally allowed us to use scrap paper. The same year my 2nd grade team scored extremely well on the paper test with the majority in the distinguished range.  We were told that next year we would be given a harder test.  So we teach 2nd grade but now we are given the immediate map test.  Of course scores significantly dropped and we were told we were the issue.

Our AP attacked us in a PLC meeting by yelling, throwing paper, and threatening us.  We have went to our principal and superintendent several times and each time they state they are working on a solution. Our AP spreads mean gossip about myself and my team. The AP also has the resource teacher spying on us to create false accusations. They both turned us in to OEA Office of Educational Accountability) for cheating on a test with our building principal being the proctor.  The case was unfounded because it was a total lie.  The AP held our faculty Christmas party at her/his house and we were not invited. We were told not to have any contact with him/her so we go through our building principal who is just trying to sneak on out and retire in less than a year.

  Continue reading this article… »
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Posted in Let's Talk with Kalola | Post Comment



April 18th, 2014

Wealthy & Business Groups get their laws passed, American public ignored

The U.S. Supreme Court, the Roberts court, regularly finds in favor of corporations over individuals. In two landmark cases, Citizens United (2010) and McCutcheon (2014), the court gave wealthy individuals unlimited control over the political process — electing politicians and influencing lawmakers concerning public policy laws.

Now comes an empirical analysis of 1,779 public policy laws crafted between 1981 and 2002 by two academic political scientists — Martin Gilens at Princeton and Benjamin Page at Northwestern. The conclusions suggest that oligarchy (or more technically plutocracy) better describes the U.S. than a simple electoral democracy. This is a shot across the bow to defenders of American exceptionalism.


Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), The New America, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



April 17th, 2014

A modest proposal: Pay to Quit for workplace bullies

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.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Good News | Post Comment



April 17th, 2014

Some French workers told to disconnect from employers while off work

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.

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Good News, The New America | Post Comment



April 17th, 2014

LIBN: Legal ramifications of workplace bullying

By Bernadette Starzee, Long Island (NY) Business News, April 16, 2014

The much-publicized investigation into alleged bullying on the Miami Dolphins football team has brought workplace bullying into the national spotlight.

More than a third of American workers say they’ve been bullied at work, according to a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, a national organization that defines workplace bullying as repeated, health-harming abusive conduct committed by bosses and/or co-workers. This may include verbal abuse, intimidation, humiliation and sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

While bullying is not healthy for the victim or the workplace, it’s not necessarily unlawful. Though so-called “Healthy Workplace” bills have been introduced in 26 states since 2003, including New York, none of these anti-bullying bills have become law.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, NFL: Jonathan Martin, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



April 15th, 2014

WBI Affiliate featured in The Globe and Mail

Here is a special piece featuring a graduate of Workplace Bullying University. Take a look.

Our team’s golden boy gets a free pass for bad behaviour

Special to the Globe and Mail
4/13/14

THE QUESTION

I work at a fairly small company, and I get along fairly well with most of my colleagues – with one notable exception.

One of my team members is an extremely talented individual, but he’s impossible to work with. He frequently makes inappropriate and insulting jokes about co-workers, and some of his work contains subtle digs at members of our team.

Whenever I gently try to tell him that his comments aren’t appreciated, he sarcastically thanks me for my contribution as a “junior employee,” and suggests it’s not my place to take issue with his behaviour. However, our manager seems hesitant to discipline him because he’s seen as irreplaceable. Whenever I raise an issue about his behaviour, our manager says he’ll talk to my co-worker, but nothing ever changes.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Workplace Bullying University | Post Comment



April 15th, 2014

Obscenity defined: CEO compensation, crumbs for the rest of us

From our friends at Executive PayWatch …

In 2013 the CEO to average worker pay ($16.59) ratio was 331:1 and the CEO to minimum wage ($7.25) worker pay ratio was 774:1.

America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, a country where hard work and playing by the rules would provide working families a middle-class standard of living. But in recent decades, corporate CEOs have been taking a greater share of the economic pie while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains high.

High-paid CEOs of low-wage employers are fueling this growing economic inequality. In 2013, CEOs of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index companies received, on average, $11.7 million in total compensation, according to the AFL-CIO’s analysis of available data from 350 companies.

Today’s ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is simply unconscionable. While CEO pay remains in the stratosphere, production and nonsupervisory workers took home only $35,239 on average in 2013, and a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage earned only $15,080.

Even as companies argue that they can’t afford to raise wages, the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago. In 2013, the S&P 500 Index companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38% increase.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Politicians should raise the minimum wage. Corporations should pay their employees a living wage. And workers should have a collective voice on the job to demand their fair share.

The Executive PayWatch site

Scroll down on the page to see that a single hour of WalMart CEO pay is equivalent to 1,372 hours of minimum wage page pay! You can’t make up stuff this outrageous.

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied | Post Comment



April 15th, 2014

Workplace Bullying: U.S. Workforce & Population Affected

AMERICANS AFFECTED BY BULLYING

We begin with the frequencies reported for each of the bullying experience categories from the Survey previously discussed — the two classes of direct experience with bullying, the two witnessing classes, and the self-described perpetrators, and the three classes of individuals with no personal bullying experience (believers and disbelievers who were both aware of bullying, and those who claim to be not aware of bullying).

The Survey was conducted at a time when the U.S. non-farm labor force was approximately 137,499,000. We are able to estimate the equivalent number of working Americans that correspond to each bullying experience category. The estimates appear in the middle column in the table below.

Then, we estimate the adult (over age 18) U.S. population, 76.5% of the total, to be 240,113,369 (in 2012). We apply the bullying experience category frequencies to that total and arrive at the values in the right column in the table below.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | Post Comment



April 14th, 2014

Judge orders shame for neighborhood bully

This news is really gonna upset bully apologists who worry so much about the tender sensibilities of offenders (and less about the harm inflicted by these creeps).

Northeast Ohio Media Group, April 13, 2014

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — The man accused of bullying his neighbors for 15 years, including children with developmental disabilities, carried out part of his punishment on Sunday by sitting at a busy intersection with a large sign that says he’s a bully.

Edmond Aviv, 62, endured five hours of people yelling at him from passing cars while holding a sign that said: “I AM A BULLY! I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in.”

Aviv, who ignored the comments and rarely looked up, said the judge’s sentence and ensuing media coverage that garnered national and international attention ruined his life. He also denied he bullied the family.

“The judge destroyed me,” said Aviv, who refused to answer other questions. “This isn’t fair at all.”

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | Post Comment



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