Posts Tagged ‘adam rubenfire’
Friday, June 20th, 2014
By Adam Rubenfire – The Wall Street Journal – June 20, 2014
Last month, after a decade of stalled progress in 26 states, advocates of workplace bullying legislation scored their first victory. But they’re not entirely pleased.
Tennessee approved the Healthy Workplace Act on May 22, a law designed to curb verbal abuse at work by making public-sector employers immune to bullying-related lawsuits if they adopt a policy that complies with the law.
Though federal laws outlaw workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and other protected statuses, advocates like Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, are lobbying for laws that recognize the verbal abuse of coworkers regardless of whether they fall under a protected class.
Dr. Namie, a social psychologist, said the Tennessee law doesn’t go far enough. The bill his staff drafted for the legislature would have allowed both public and private employers to be held liable in civil lawsuits regarding incidents of alleged workplace bullying if they failed to enforce policies that recognize and protect workers who claim physical or mental harm as a result of bullying.
However, the signed law applies only to public-sector employers, and administrators aren’t required to follow guidelines that the law ordered a state commission to draft by March 2015. Instead, they’re incentivized to do so in exchange for immunity from potential lawsuits.
Under the new law, individual employees may still be held personally liable for abusive conduct.
Tags: adam rubenfire, Gary Namie, Healthy Workplace Bill, Tennessee, workplace bullying
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