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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



July 27th, 2015

Join the conversation on KFI-AM 640 Los Angeles Today

Los Angeles talk radio host Bill Carroll is joined by Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director starting at 10:20 am PST. Call in. (800) 520-1KFI (1534)

Listen live.

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June 29th, 2015

Next WB University Training for Professionals Announced

August 7-8-9 are the dates for the next public WBI Workplace Bullying University® Training for Professionals. The location is Boise, Idaho.

Since 2008, the Drs. Namie have delivered the only comprehensive research-driven training covering all aspects of the workplace bullying phenomenon. They are the pioneers and you can learn directly from them. Passed and pending legislation is part of their work. Graduates will understand the nuances of applicable laws.

This interactive, intensive 3-day session is life-changing.

It will enable professionals to add abusive conduct to their list of specializations with the take-home lessons learned.

Professionals who have attended past sessions:

- Attorneys
– Union officials
– Nurses
– Counselors/psychotherapists
– Academics
– HR professionals
– Physicians
– School bullying trainers
– Consultants to organizations
– Corporate trainers
– Former targets turned entrepreneurs

Tuition has been reduced and a deeper discount applies if registration is completed by June 30. Call today for — 360-656-6630. Visit the Workplace Bullying University website for program and registration details and testimonials from graduates.

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May 28th, 2015

Essence: How to handle an office bully

How to Handle An Office Bully

By Arlene Dawson, Essence Magazine, June 2015

When brainy go-getter Nicole*, 28, accepted a position at a trendy beauty start-up in New York City, she thought it was her dream job. “The company promoted itself as being progressive,” says Nicole. But her work situation devolved quickly and became more Mean Girls than The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Early on, when Nicole wasn’t dancing at a company party, a White coworker said to her, “You’re Black. We hired you because you could dance.” Other colleagues laughed. “I always thought that if this type of thing happened I would come back with a response, but I went to the bathroom and cried,” Nicole recalls. “I had never experienced those types of comments—racism—so blatantly in a work setting before.”

Nicole reported the incident to her immediate boss and her complaint got laddered up to the CEO. Although her superiors feigned remorse, she says, “That was the beginning of the end for me in the company.” The bully got promoted, found out Nicole “told on her” and escalated the bullying. During staff meetings, Nicole says her ideas were met with coldness; the bully rallied other coworkers not to associate with her; and more negative remarks—this time about Nicole’s naturally curly hair and clothing—ensued.

Even management turned sour, setting her up for failure by assigning impossible, vague projects. And despite Nicole’s management of million-dollar accounts, she recalls work review meetings being filled with nitpicky, unfounded accusations. “They were systematically trying to push me out without actually firing me,” says Nicole.

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | Post Comment



April 27th, 2015

Pennsylvania anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill makes 11 bills in 10 states in 2015

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Cohen, along with seven co-sponsors, introduced HB 1041 on April 21, 2015.

PA joins other states — Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota — with versions of the WBI anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB) that include employer liability for enabling a health-harming abusive work environment.

In 2015 alone 11 bills have been introduced in 10 states. Since 2003, 29 states and two territories have introduced some version of the HWB.

If you are a Pennsylvanian, go to the State Page for all contact information for lawmakers — co-sponsors and the key members of the House Labor and Industry Committee. Thank sponsors and encourage committee leaders to hold a public hearing for the bill, HB 1041.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Workplace Bullying Laws | 5 Comments



April 25th, 2015

10th anniversary of Japanese train disaster caused by workplace bullying

On April 25, 2005 at 9:19 am, a 7-car Japanese commuter rapid train 5418M derailed at high speed on a curved stretch of track and slammed into a parking garage of an apartment building. The train was operated by 11 month veteran driver 23-year old Ryūjirō Takami in front car. A second rail employee, the conductor, was in the rear car.

It was the second worst rail disaster in the country’s history. 562 people were injured and 107 died, including Takami. 99 of the fatalities were in the front car. In all, four cars derailed.

Click here for the full story and details.

National Geographic recreated the events in an episode of Seconds from Disaster.

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Posted in Bullying & Health, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | Post Comment



April 22nd, 2015

UNA/AFSCME National Nurses Congress tackles workplace bullying

National Nurses Congress UNA-AFSCME 2015 in San Diego

On Sunday May 3, Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director addresses the national conference. He will also deliver several workshops. If you are a UNA or AFSCME member, consider attending. Too often nurses consider lateral or horizontal violence an acceptable occupational hazard. It need not be. The irony is that healthcare providers, primarily nurses, care more for patients than for their own health. Much can, and should, be done to make the healthcare workplace safe for nurses.

Location: Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa; Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA.

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Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2 | 1 Comment



April 22nd, 2015

Get robbed, get fired says ungrateful Houston fast food franchisee

Z & H Foods Inc. is a Houston-based company that owns and operates two restaurant franchises — Popeyes and Louisiana Kitchen. At a Popeyes location on March 31, a hooded thief brandishing a handgun at staff robbed the store of about $400 from the cash registers when the woman shift manager, Marissa Holcomb, told him she had no access to the safe. Marissa was subsequently fired for violating a Z & H policy. Yes, the HR person (who has yet to be identified) justified the firing of a pregnant mom who was just robbed at gunpoint. The basis? Repeated violations of leaving too much cash in the registers.

If Holcomb was responsible for transferring the cash, she would likely have to store it in the safe, as opposed to paper bags or her personal purse. For that to happen, she would have had access to the safe where the largest amount of cash was stored. But Holcomb protected the safe, and therefore the company from losing even more money, by telling the robber that she had no access. The HR rep who justified the firing has now leaked to the public the fact that managers of Z & H-owned restaurants on all shifts have access to their safes. Oops. She just endangered every manager.

Not only is the company ungrateful for Holcomb’s minimizing company losses, the company is too dangerous to work for at any salary. Spread the word in Houston.

Here’s the story from KHOU-TV.

Let Z & H know what you think: 281-988-5726 or give them hell on their google+ site

Z&H President is Shoukat Dhanani
Z&H Vice-President is Amin Dhanani

Note the restaurant is a Popeyes. Popeyes is a Georgia-based franchiser and deflects all responsibility for the actions of its franchisees like Z & H.

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April 14th, 2015

Forget $15/hr wage, everyone gets $70,000! Seattle CEO shows the way!

Owner of a Credit Card Processor Is Setting a New Minimum Wage: $70,000 a Year
By Patricia Cohen, New York Times, April 13, 2015

WBI: The extraordinary tale of a capitalist with a conscience who resolved an internal income inequality issue with equality.

Dan Price, owner of Gravity Payments SeattleThe idea began percolating, said Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that, for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.

His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.

“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.



If it’s a publicity stunt, it’s a costly one. Mr. Price, who started the Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm in 2004 at the age of 19, said he would pay for the wage increases by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.

Continue reading this article… »

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April 12th, 2015

Minnesota Union and State collaboratively create Workplace Bullying policy

Minnesota leap frogs Tennessee with respect to having a state policy to thwart workplace bullying. First a bit of background. In 2014, Tennessee passed a law (Public Chapter 997) that assigned policy writing to a state commission (TACIR) comprised of elected officials with technical support from WBI-affiliated professionals. The group did produce a model policy. However, several lawmakers refused to allow the policy’s implementation. The workplace psychological safety of public employees in that right-to-work state remains unresolved, treated as a political game.

Thus, the first state to implement a workplace bullying policy for all state workers is Minnesota. The successful story begins with the state employees union MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees) becoming aware of bullying-related problems for members in January 2012. Discussions of bullying surfaced in contract bargaining sessions. In February 2013, some bullying managers were removed in partnership with the union. Education accelerated in May 2013 when MAPE held a seminar for stewards with lessons gleaned from a public session sponsored by the Minneapolis Bar Association at which Dr. Gary Namie spoke.

Audio report:

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By August 2013, MAPE had produced videos of their bullying experiences. In September, results of a membership survey revealed that 1 out of 4 members were either directly bullied or they had witnessed it. State. The state Department of Human Services Commissioner, Lucinda Jesson, signed an anti-bullying petition to ensure safe, retaliation-free reporting of bullying.

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April 12th, 2015

Vermont enters the race to pass first complete anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill

For some reason, Vermont lawmakers sponsoring a paid sick leave bill appropriated our the WBI bill name – Healthy Workplace Bill – in 2015. We support paid sick leave, but care most about ending health-harming abuse in the workplace.

Now comes Vermont Senate bill S 143 –An act relating to protecting employees from abuse at work. WBI thanks sponsor Sen. Anthony Pollina. Tenacious Vermont State Coordinator, Sherrill Gilbert, has worked for several sessions to have the HWB not only introduced but heard in committee. Despite the formation of a task force in past years, the historically progressive state has failed to take definitive action against this scourge.

The bill has been referred to a Senate committee on which a former sponsor sits. We await scheduling of a public hearing at which Vermonters can testify about the need for a state law.

In 2015, VT S 143 is the 9th bill to be introduced across the states. Vermont joins Texas, New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota with complete versions (with employer liability) of the Healthy Workplace Bill.

Details of the bill can be found at the VT State Page of the Healthy Workplace Bill website.

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