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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



September 30th, 2014

Final 2014 Workplace Bullying University in November

Since 2008, Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie have been training professionals in all aspects of the phenomenon of workplace bullying. Their 3-day, intensive and immersive program is called Workplace Bullying University®. It was the first, and remains the only, program of its kind in North America.

The final 2014 session is held in Bellingham, Washington on November 7-8-9

Their research-driven/evidence-based approach covers:
– prevalence in society and among industries
– profiles of targeted individuals and perpetrators
– the range of tactics employed
– understanding coworkers
– origins of bullying — personalities, work environment, societal
– the science and impact of health harm — physical and psychological
– costs borne by employers
– individual solutions and shortcomings
– potential group solutions
– new roles and responsibilities for managers
– employer solutions — band aid to comprehensive approaches
– public policy change in the context of international laws

Participants receive a treasure trove of materials and resources to position themselves as experts in workplace bullying either for private use or to launch a successful organizational anti-bullying initiative for their employer or union.

See the Workplace Bullying University website for details, testimonials and discounted tuition.

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September 30th, 2014

Namie to address Assn Registered Nurses, PEI Oct. 10

I will be enjoying a day with nurses, my favorite healthcare professionals, as we plot and plan how to stop bullying in their workplaces. I join Dr. Vicki Foley from the School of Nursing at the University of PEI, Rhonda MacPhee and Patsy Somers. The conference is titled

Fostering Healthy Workplaces: Put a Stop to Bullying

October 10th -Howard Johnson -Dutch Inn, Prince Edward Island

Register at info@arnpei.ca or call 902-368-3764

See you there.

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Posted in Events & Appearances | Post Comment



September 29th, 2014

Ray Rice as victim of domestic violence strains credulity

Ray Rice, the most visible perpetrator of partner violence in recent times, is now pivoting to a new explanation — he was the victim.

Does it happen? Yes. In fact, males are sometimes victimized, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. See the graphic. It’s just that it is extremely rare.

If the football player was abused by his then-girlfriend, then why did he agree to stay with her, eventually marrying her? What is wrong with him? Why was he drawn to such a violent woman? Didn’t he know there are plenty of alternative relationships out there waiting to happen for him? Blah, blah, blah — all the same folderol and stupid questions that abused women must endure.

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September 29th, 2014

Career Builder survey on workplace bullying

Career Builder commissioned an online Harris Poll to survey employed full-time private sector U.S. respondents. The prevalence of bullying was 28%. Career Builder findings can be extrapolated to their sample — people with full-time jobs in the private sector working for someone else.

Career Builder defined workplace bullying as

unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is often repeated over time. Bullying can include actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

The only diversion from traditional definitions is the inclusion of physical attacks. Bullying is non-physical assault, not battery.

WBI commissioned Zogby to conduct our 2014 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey with a sample of all adult Americans that included unemployed workers (since bullying displaces so many of its targets). The prevalence of bullying was 27%. Our findings apply to all adult Americans, a broader sample.

The two studies are worth comparing. Both investigated bullying by race and rank.

Here are the major findings from the Career Builder survey (reprint of the CB press release).

• Minorities, the physically disabled and LGBT workers were bullied at a higher prevalence rate

• Women were targeted more than men (same for WBI)

• Managers were bullied at a 27% rate (it was 35% in the WBI 2007 national survey)

• Bullies were bosses (45%) and coworkers (46%); the WBI rates were 56% and 33%, respectively

• 48% of targets confronted their bully (WBI found that 69% had) and 45% of those people were successful at stopping the bullying (WBI found a paltry 3.57% success rate)

• 32% reported incidents to HR but in 58% of those cases nothing was done

According to the survey, the top five tactics were:

• Falsely accused of mistakes he/she didn’t make (43%)
• Comments were ignored, dismissed or not acknowledged (41%)
• A different set of standards or policies was used for the worker (37%)
• Gossip was spread about the worker (34%)
• Constantly criticized by the boss or co-workers (32%)

Regardless of the definition, this study reinforces our own work — workplace bullying is an American workplace scourge.

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



September 29th, 2014

A laugh break we all need

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Posted in Good News | Post Comment



September 27th, 2014

“It’s On Us” Anti-Sex Assault Program Blames Bystanders

There is a raging epidemic of sexual assaults on US college campuses. Reliable estimates claim that between 16% and 25% of college women face the risk of rape or some other assault, according to the spring 2014 report by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The Obama Administration’s goal is to understand the problem then propose legislative, behavioral and institutional changes to eradicate the problem.

On Sept. 23, 2014, the government launched a new public education campaign featuring celebrities (ostensibly the only credible Americans with the right to suggest that the public change its behavior) — It’s On Us. The message attempts to increase the responsibility felt by witnesses of assaults to intervene and disrupt.

In school bullying initiatives, it’s called making “upstanders” out of bystanders. Witnesses are known to not intervene in emergencies of all kinds. The reluctance is called the “bystander effect,” and followed a 1964 rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens New York witnessed by 38 neighbors, each of whom failed to call the police in time to save her life. The explanations that emerged from subsequent research (led by social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latane starting in the 1960’s). Bystander reticence is usually based on fear — of retaliation, of botching a rescue, of being the sole helper, of being the next victim.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | Post Comment



September 25th, 2014

Meggyesy: Fear and Violence in the NFL

By David Meggyesy, former seven year linebacker with the St. Louis football Cardinals, author of a best-selling football autobiography, Out of Their League. Meggyesy is board President of Athletes United for Peace and is the former Western Regional Director of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). Essay originally posted on Social Justice on 9/17/2014.

“The only reason parents hit their children is because they can get away with it.” — A. S. Neill, Summerhill

As a physically abused child, as many of us are, I read the above quote as a young adult, then the parent of a three year old son and a professional football player with the St. Louis Football Cardinals. It was an epiphany, and I never forgot it. Certainly there were times when I was angry, feeling unsure of myself and demanding some kind of control in my life. Hey I could take it out on my “out of control“ son and say to myself “he deserved it”. However that Neill observation made so much sense I decided to break the chain and I never physically assaulted my children.

The issue is again news, with the former Baltimore Raven NFL player Ray Rice, who is shown punching and knocking out his girlfriend and dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator, Adrian Peterson, star running back with the Minnesota Vikings drawing blood beating his four year old son with a switch. This gender and child abuse is not endemic to athletes who play professional football. It is a social epidemic. Given the media power of the NFL it’s a good thing that this kind of abuse is again thrown up in our collective face.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, NFL: Domestic Violence | Post Comment



September 25th, 2014

WBI Survey: Personal Attributes of Bullied Targets at Work

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF BULLIED TARGETS AT WORK
WBI Research/Instant Poll: 2014 – A

Since the start of WBI, we have been conversing with bullied targets who telephone us for advice. Over 10,000 targets have taught us their world from the inside. Previously WBI identified in an online study (WBI, 2003) a set of personal attributes that targets themselves said was the reason they were bullied. That list included being independent, possessing more technical skill than their bully, being liked by peers, an ethicality and honesty the bully did not have and being apolitical — not willing or able to play the game of organizational politics.

Some academic researchers, especially those in business schools who tend to adopt management as their referential lens through which they interpret bullying, investigate factors such as “victim precipitation” or the “provocative victim.” In other words, attributes of targets are seen as causal; it’s a way to blame targets for their fate. It implies that a rational person, when confronted with such provocateurs, would engage in anti-social actions against them because they somehow “deserved it.”

Clearly, no one deserves to be abused and suffer the type of health harm bullying generates. On this all good people should be able to agree.

WBI Instant Polls are online single-question surveys that rely upon self-selected samples of individuals bullied at work (typically 98% of any sample). No demographic data are collected. Our non-scientific Instant Polls accurately depict the perceptions of workers targeted for bullying at work as contrasted with the views of all adult Americans in our scientific national surveys.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences, WBI Surveys & Studies | Post Comment



September 25th, 2014

Get ready for WBI Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week: Oct 19-25

Freedom From Workplace Bullies WeekFreedom Week is a chance to break through the shame and silence that shrouds workplace bullying. No one asks to be targeted, to be dominated, to be humiliated. The psychological assaults harm the person’s health and the health and well being of families, too.

Bullying at work is most like the phenomenon of domestic violence. [October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.] It is abuse where the abuser is on the payroll. Coworkers and employers notoriously ignore it. Through their indifference, they tacitly support and encourage it. Employers suffer no consequences because workplace bullying is not yet illegal in the U.S.

Freedom Week is a time to be daring and bold. Do something!

Tell WBI what you have planned and we will announce it here at the website.

Visit the Freedom Week site to learn what different groups can do.

Downloadable 2014 WBI Freedom Week Flyers

Freedom Flyer Format #1
Freedom Flyer Format #2
Freedom Flyer Format #3

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September 25th, 2014

ESPN critics of NFL model how DC pundits should criticize US gov’t

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

There’s a level of refreshing level of candor about Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, from two ESPN employees — Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons — rarely spoken today in mainstream media (and ESPN is certainly mainstream). It’s all the more remarkable when you learn that ESPN pays the NFL $15 billion to televise Monday Night Football. So, ESPN critics could be seen as biting the hand that feeds them, but these two pundits show tremendous courage in calling out the NFL mismanagement of its current domestic violence crisis.

Bill Simmons is the writer who started Grantland (an ESPN Internet Venture) and has been an ESPN superstar. For his calling Goodell a liar, he earned a 3 week suspension. The Simmons B.S. Podcast from which the audio came was pulled from the Grantland website by ESPN. Here is the audio that got him into trouble.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Also brave were ESPN writers, Don Van Natta, Jr. and Keith Van Valkenburg, who wrote an extraordinary investigative Outside the Lines article that revealed that Goodell and the Baltimore Ravens ownership colluded with Ray Rice’s attorney to cover up his domestic violence incident. Then, both Goodell and Ravens owner, Steve Bisciotti, lied about their knowledge of it. Very Nixonian of the NFL.

The OTL article title

Despite ESPN silencing Simmons and reportedly wordsmithing the OTL article with some deletions, many critics on the network are jabbing the NFL. Critics are the only ones who can hold institutions accountable.

Why do we not see the same drive to be candid from the Washington DC beltway political pundits? Their relationships with the “newsmakers” is way too cozy. Reporter would rather ingratiate themselves with the people they are paid to hold accountable. Kissing up and comfort prevent truthtelling. The result — America is in a new war while still fighting the old one with public support.

After all …

All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed. I.F. Stone

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, NFL: Domestic Violence | Post Comment



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