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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



July 22nd, 2014

Stupid state lawmakers deliberately distort science

“Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress.
But I repeat myself.”
Mark Twain

I’m starting to sound like my father and can’t believe I question nearly every day “what is this world coming to?” Near the top of my “it’s all going to hell” list is America’s turning its back on science — unabashedly, proudly, defiantly — through legislation.

In the UK, the BBC has banned from their airwaves crackpot guests preaching that climate change is not real. The change is to bolster scientific integrity. Staff will receive training in science and scientific conferences will be attended by staff to stay abreast of developments.

Deniers get equivalence here in the US. One denier with one believer (proxy by Bill Nye, the “Science Guy”). Viewers ignorant of the facts could conclude that climate change is not really something to be concerned about. The fallacy of this false equivalence was never more clear than this demonstration by comedian John Oliver on his HBO show This Week Tonight.

And recently the British government extended its public school ban on teaching pseudoscience, creationism, to cover “academies” and “free schools,” the equivalent of charter schools in the States. The government recognizes the religious bases of the founders of such schools. Thus creationism promotes religion and has no business in the teaching of science.

America is headed in the other direction, driving headfirst into ignorance. Creationists and advocates for “intelligent design” in the US seem to be gaining clout. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) 2014 legislative scorecard identified states that are attempting to make their children science illiterates.

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), The New America, WBI Surveys & Studies | Post Comment



July 21st, 2014

Workplace Bullying: Causal Factors in the U.S.

CAUSAL FACTORS in 2014

Two questions explored with varying levels of accuracy the public explanation for why bullying happens.

In the better of the two Survey items, we asked respondents to choose one primary factor or reason for the bullying.

Question: Which one factor is most responsible for abusive mistreatment at work?

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Posted in WBI Surveys & Studies | Post Comment



July 19th, 2014

Got a Minute? For Employers

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Media About Bullying, WBI Education | Post Comment



July 17th, 2014

Help fund a good documentary

We help documentary film makers by participating in their films. One successful documentary was Murder By Proxy.

Filmmakers Sheila Dvorak and Jay Galione, produced Gone Postal: The Documentary. Jay’s father’s experience as a proud postal worker watching the destruction by politicians of the USPS inspired the film. We met Jay and Sheila when they filmed our reaction to the manufactured crises in the Postal Service.

Let’s all help fund completion of this worthy project on Indiegogo. (WBI supporters generously funded the 2014 US Workplace Bullying Survey on Indiegogo.) Please help these filmmakers.

Visit the Gone Postal website | Visit the Indiegogo fund raising page

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Posted in Documentaries, Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Media About Bullying | Post Comment



July 17th, 2014

Men are Subjected to Workplace Bullying too

Here is a great video from Sue O’Donnell RN, MN, PhD, University of New Brunswick. The strong illustrations of men being bullied at work is supported by WBI research. According to the 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey males comprise 40% of bullied targets.

Men Workplace Bullying from Nick Wilson Videography on Vimeo.

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Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied | 1 Comment



July 16th, 2014

South Florida Workplace Bullying event July 24

If you are anywhere near Deerfield Beach, FL, you owe it to yourself to attend the Broward Crime Commission Workplace Bullying event. Come meet Dr. Gary Namie (WBI Director, co-author, The Bully At Work), Dr. Maureen Duffy (co-author, Overcoming Mobbing), law professor Kerri Stone, and Jonathan Martin attorney David Cornwell.

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, NFL: Jonathan Martin | Post Comment



July 15th, 2014

SCOTUS confirms that owners’ rights trump workers

WBI friend Lewis Maltby wrote convincingly in his book, Can They Do That?, that American workers have very few rights. Without a union bargained contract, all rights are owned by management unless state or federal laws provide specific protections. Among the industrialized nations (members of the OECD), US workers have the fewest rights.

Robert Fuller, another WBI friend, speaks and writes eloquently about somebodies and nobodys, the hierarchy in our lives. For him, the issue is rankism. It makes good sense in our nation of ever-expanding income inequality.

From the work of stress guru, Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University professor and researcher, we learn that simply organizing social groups in hiearchical ways with rank playing a role in how all resources are unevenly divided is stressful. Those dominated by others are doomed to lives of ongoing stress. Social subordination generates distress, that in turn, triggers major life-threatening diseases through disruption of the adrenocortical, cardiovascular, reproductive, immunological, and neurobiological systems (Sapolsky, 2005).

Workers bullied by higher ranking bosses (56% of all targets) will find it nearly impossible to avoid contact. That toxic contact is the exposure to stress that causes health harm.

I say all this to put into context the June 30, 2014 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). By majority votes of the conservative-dominated court, the rights of company owners were expanded. The (chief justice) Roberts Court has never ruled against corporate interests.

The two cases decided upon were Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of HHS v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (13-354) and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of HHS (13-356) — jointly dubbed the Hobby Lobby decision.

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Rulings by Courts, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences | Post Comment



July 15th, 2014

For unions: negotiate for workplace bullying CBA prohibition

For our Union friends, we have created a Guide to Workplace Bullying that includes help with introducing Workplace Bullying into your Contracts (CBAs). Visit the WBI Union site.

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Posted in Unions | Post Comment



July 14th, 2014

A dedicated educator passes — Vernetta Rosemary Northcutt

Vernetta Rosemary Northcutt (1945 – 2014)

At South Sacramento Hospital beloved mother and educator Vernetta Rosemary Northcutt passed early evening on June 3, after a valiant two plus year battle against pancreatic cancer. Her son Will and oldest nephew Robert whom loved her dearly, were with her throughout her final hours.

She moved to Elk Grove eight years ago after living in Vallejo, where she was known and respected for over 20 years as a teacher in the VUSD, spending the vast majority of her 25 plus year educational career with the VUSD as a Vallejo High School teacher. Loved and appreciated by a great number of her students, Ms. Northcutt was well known for her devotion to teaching students to reach beyond their potential and be all that they could be using well developed educational tools and creative methods.

She also fought to reclaim the dignity denied her by that same school district. Read the story of her travails here.

A memorial for her past students and close friends will be held on July 27 at the Vallejo (CA) Community Center on 225 Amador St. between the hours of 3 and 8 p.m.

If you are interested in assisting with the memorial in any way please contact her son Will Flynn at AnubanUT2@gmail.com or any member of the Ruth Love family.

Thanks to all that truly cared about her and treated her with the respect she deserved. Let us rejoice, for she is truly at peace in the company of the Lord.

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | Post Comment



July 14th, 2014

Healthy Workplace Bill legislation: A 2014 perspective on distorted amendments

The Healthy Workplace Campaign is WBI’s effort to enact anti-bullying legislation for the American workplace state by state. The model bill is called the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB).


Features of the HWB

• Suffolk University Law Professor David C. Yamada, text author, used federal Title VII Civil Rights laws as basis

• Defines severe abusive conduct — does not use term workplace bullying

• Provides legal redress for anyone subjected to abusive conduct, whether or not the person is a member of a protected status group

• Requires that abusive conduct result in either demonstrable health or economic harm to plaintiff

• Plaintiffs who file lawsuits make public formerly hidden, confidential employer processes that hide and deny bullying

• Prohibits retaliation against any participant in procedures involved in dealing with the abusive conduct complaint

• Requires plaintiffs to hire private attorneys, no fiscal impact on state government

• Provides incentives (affirmative defenses) for employers who implement genuine corrective procedures

• Preserves managerial prerogative to discipline and terminate employees

• Does not interfere with state workers’ compensation laws or union CBAs

We named the HWB in 2002. All other uses of the name HWB are unauthorized by us. California first introduced the HWB in 2003. It has been carried in over half of states and two territories since. The Workplace Bullying Institute trains and provides support to a national network of volunteer Sate Coordinators who lobby their respective state legislators to sponsor the HWB. You can track its status at the HWB website.

Botched Amendments & Unanticipated Consequences

As authors of the HWB, we naturally want the full and original version of the bill enacted into law. And we realize compromises will be made during the process. It is “sausage making,” after all. We just wish all bill sponsors would refuse to allow major revisions that change the spirit of the bill from protecting abused workers to something else. Since the HWB was first introduced, different amendments have been proposed or made.

Often the well-intended sponsor, a pro-worker advocate, agrees to compromise adopting the belief that the law can be built in steps. Let’s get this version passed now and it will be revisited in the coming years and supplemented with the other desired provisions.

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Tutorials About Bullying, Unions, WBI Education, Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



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