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WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



August 12th, 2014

Russell Brand’s eloquent tribute to Robin Williams

It may surprise those of you who have never read a Russell Brand essay on the wrongness of austerity or the ills of contemporary society to realize the comedic man has depth and insight. And so I expected his tribute to Robin Williams to be equally brilliant. Here is the full essay.

I chose the excerpt below to capture Brand’s point about our very human fragility that gets bulldozed by our “man up” compassionless society.

What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was? That fame and accolades are no defence against mental illness and addiction? That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves? That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful? That we can’t tarnish this tiny slice of awareness that we share on this sphere amidst the infinite blackness with conflict and hate?

That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?

What I might do is watch Mrs Doubtfire. Or Dead Poets Society or Good Will Hunting and I might be nice to people, mindful today how fragile we all are, how delicate we are, even when fizzing with divine madness that seems like it will never expire.

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



August 8th, 2014

WBI Webinar: Making the Business Case

The WBI Target Action Plan is our suggested course of action for bullied targets who have back-stabbing coworkers, unsympathetic bosses, no union support, and a host of employer representatives who tell them that the bullying is their fault. Forget rational appeals for help made to enablers of the bullying. They are part of the “vast conspiracy” making it a case of many against one. The tendency is to implore that the emotional abuse stop and that is typically done in an emotional way. The WBI plan teaches you to become an unemotional advocate for yourself by making the “business case.”

Watch the latest WBI webinar to learn how.

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, WBI Education, Webinars | 4 Comments



August 7th, 2014

Orlando Business Journal: 5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Bullying

By Jeff Mandel – Orlando Business Journal – August 7, 2014

A staggering 27 percent of U.S. workers report experiencing abusive conduct at work; 21 percent report witnessing such conduct. And bullying is four times more common than harassment in the workplace, with 65.6 million people reporting to have been affected.

Bullying in the workplace is defined as actions by an individual or group that are unreasonable, physical or psychological, repeated, and cause an intentional impact on the target, such as humiliation, degradation, offense, intimidation or cause dangerous results to the target, such as risk to safety and/or mental or physical health issues. In short, bullying is considered a form of violence.

And the impacts of workplace bullying have a ripple effect. Not only does workplace bullying impact the target of the bullying, but it leaves a lasting impression on others in the workplace as well. Workplace bullying often results in high turnover, low productivity, lost innovations, difficulty hiring quality employees and even customer retention.

Here are five tips for employers wanting to be proactive in the fight against workplace bullying:
Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in WBI in the News | Post Comment



August 7th, 2014

Social workers against workplace bullying

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Conference was treated to a presentation on workplace bullying by WBI Affiliates Linda R. Crockett and Sherri Tanchack. Both are Canadian pioneers leading the group — Social Workers Against Bullying.

Linda and Sherri recognize both the importance of clinicians treating bullied patients to (1) understand the work environment as causing the harm from workplace bullying and (2) the necessity of therapists hurt by bullying to heal so as to help others. If you are a social worker in Canada or the U.S., contact them. We met Linda and Sherri at Workplace Bullying University.

Here are the two along with their co-presenter at NASW, Dr. Tracy Whitaker, and the new NASW president, Dr. Darrell P. Wheeler.

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



August 6th, 2014

Golly Gee Kids, Let’s Stop Workplace Bullying And Just Treat Each Other with Respect

By Richard B. Cohen – Employment Discrimination Report – August 4, 2014

Just as last week we re-opened our discussion about the possibility/desirability of enacting legislation to prohibit workplace bullying, it has been reported that the governor of New Hampshire just vetoed such a bill – calling it “well-intentioned” but ultimately “unworkable.”

Chalk up another defeat for anti-bullying legislation, which is batting zero.

The Healthy Workplace Bill

We have not seen the NH bill, but if “workability” is the issue, perhaps New Hampshire should have turned to Prof. David Yamada, of nearby Suffolk University Law School, who is the author of the template legislation that serves as the basis of most of the workplace anti-bullying bills introduced across the country.

We noted last week that he wrote to us on February 25th about our discussion on anti-bullying legislation and said that “I can attest that the need for such legislation is underscored by the terrible inadequacy of existing law, including tort claims (IIED) and other causes of action. … the template bill, a/k/a The Healthy Workplace Bill, sets a relatively high threshold for recovery, higher in fact than hostile work environment standards for sexual harassment. In other words, it’s about creating a cause of action for abuse, not incivility.”

Goodness Gracious — Bullying Can Be Anything!

However, as Law360 reports, “unworkability “resonates with many employers’ concerns that ill-defined workplace bullying laws would invite a wave of meritless employment lawsuits, attorneys say.” Law 360 quotes some incisive comments from various employment attorneys:

  • “Any legislation is just going to further clog the court system;”
  • “The biggest problem is what the governor identified. That is, ‘How do you define bullying?’”
  • “Bullying is so subjective. If it’s just unwelcome conduct — well, goodness gracious, that could be anything.”

One lawyer proposed a more workable solution that no one has seemingly ever thought of: “Everybody should be treated with professionalism and respect, and none of these issues will ever come up.”

Wow — a breathtaking concept! Goodness gracious, what a boffo idea! Wish we thought of that!

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



August 6th, 2014

SCI TV: Bullying and Locker Room Culture

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Posted in Media About Bullying | Post Comment



August 5th, 2014

Please Take Our New Survey!

It is common for the media, who have previous ignored workplace bullying, to proclaim that no law is needed because employers are voluntarily providing adequate solutions. We question the veracity of that claim and designed a survey to address it.

Please take a minute to answer a few questions about your experience with workplace bullying and what your employer did.





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Posted in WBI Surveys & Studies | Post Comment



August 4th, 2014

IDG Connect: IT Careers – Success vs. Bullying

By Kathryn Cave – IDG Connect – August 4, 2014

“Every office full of ambitious people has them. And we have all worked with at least one—the co-worker with an inexplicable ability to rise in the ranks,” wrote the Wall Street Journal recently in an article entitled What Corporate Climbers Can Teach Us. “‘How do they do it?’ we may ask ourselves or whisper to friends at work,” it continued. “They don’t have more experience. They don’t seem that brilliant.”

The answer it suggests is the “dark triad” of personality traits identified by psychologists as: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. “These traits are well-known for the bad behaviour that they can cause when dominant in people’s personalities,” explained the article. “At milder levels, however, they can actually foster skills that can help people rise through the ranks.”

Of course, there’s a very fine line between demonstrating these skills for the purpose of career progression and becoming that covert workplace bully. And the latter is a serious problem. Recent research from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) released in Feb 2014, shows 27% of all adult Americans have directly experienced “repeated abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or work abuse.”

Dr. Namie, Director of WBI and widely regarded as North America’s foremost authority on workplace bullying, tells us that bullies also usually exhibit this dark triad. In fact, he demonstrates that the sort of qualities that facilitate career progression are indelibly linked to workplace bullying. “Look at that package,” Dr. Namie tells us: “these are the people who are willing to meddle with others. They fill their days with political gamesmanship. And the other people, the targets, come to work to do their job.”

“[For the bullies] climbing the ladder is all of their work,” Dr. Namie continues. “It is their focus. It becomes a zero-sum game where they must obliterate all competition. They see co-workers as competition as opposed to peers, or a possible pool of friends. They see them as someone to dupe, overcome and climb over. And it is just Machiavellian. And some people don’t have that view at all. They’re co-corporative. They’re nice. They’re kind. The targets are in that group.”

Continue reading this article… »

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Posted in WBI in the News | Post Comment



August 2nd, 2014

Got a Minute? Prototypical Target

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



July 30th, 2014

Colbert’s take on Manhattan inequality — separate building entrance for the “poor”

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, The New America | Post Comment



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