Posts Tagged ‘legislation’


Puerto Rico acts on the Healthy Workplace Bill

Friday, June 6th, 2014

If you are new to being bullied at work, you necessarily are consumed by righting the wrong and healing from the self-blame and shame that accompanies it. If you are reading this, you have discovered the WBI website that confirms you did nothing wrong, nor did you deserve the denigration, humiliation or ostracism.

You might have missed the fact that since 2001 we have spearheaded the effort in states to pass a law that would have given you a chance to threaten your employer with a lawsuit. Without the threat of a law, US employers are letting the perpetrators run with impunity. And that doesn’t even count bullying done on behalf of executives and senior managers.

The name of our legislation is the Healthy Workplace Bill. Volunteer Coordinators in 36 states have managed to get the bill introduced in 26 states and in 2 territories — the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The process is just beginning in the USVI, but progress is significant in PR.

Senator Rosanna Lopez Leon was the prime sponsor of S 501. The bill passed all committees, and both Camara (House) and Senado (Senate) floor votes. Reconciliation of the different versions was completed on June 3.

The bill addresses “acoso laboral” the special cases of harassment we define as workplace bullying and mobbing. The bill speaks about “the dignity of every human being, particularly in the area of employment.”

The bill awaits Gov. Padilla’s signature. Call his office to implore him to make the bill law.

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US Virgin Islands Senator introduces anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Sen. Clarence Payne, Chair of the Health, Hospitals, Human Services & Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has introduced our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in the U.S. Virgin Islands legislature. On June 6, in St. Croix, a public hearing for the bill will be heard.

Please visit the USVI Page at the HWB website and use the E-Z letter writer to show your support to committee members.

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Tennessee: Progressive? Still Racist?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

A good news / bad news tale. First, the good. On June 3, the Gov. signed a law encouraging public sector employers to adopt policies to address abusive conduct, the way WBI defines workplace bullying. Kudos go to brave Rep. Antonio Parkinson who took the full version of our Healthy Workplace Bill through several committees. The bill did not survive intact, but the state is the first state to adopt a policy-driven approach taken by several counties and cities across the country. Read the details at the TN State Page of the HWB website.

Sadly, on the same week, Memphis WREG-TV-3 reported the Jim Crow era-like conduct of a white supervisor at a cotton warehouse toward black workers. No water fountain, no microwave, the days of segregation were good! The owner said he “outsources management services.” Watch the story that is the basis of an EEOC discrimination case.

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Paskoff: Employers Should Stop Bullying Now

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Why Wait for a Law? Stop Bullying Now
By Stephen Paskoff, Workforce Management, March 13, 2014

I recently participated in a webcast discussing current workplace issues, including bullying and abusive conduct. So far, such behavior, however defined or named, has not been recognized as illegal at the state or federal level. Generally, these and other programs I have participated in mostly consider whether workplace bullying is an imminent or remote litigation risk. No doubt that’s a matter to be concerned about.

However, to me here’s the more critical question: Why are organizations spending so much time discussing what might happen in the future as opposed to addressing the organizational damage abusive behaviors are causing them right now? Wouldn’t it be a strange business world if leaders waited to maximize the profitability of their manufacturing and sales processes until some legislature passed a law compelling them to do so? But that’s just what they are doing when it comes to bullying conduct.

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Bristol Press: CCSU professor urges law targeting workplace bullying

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

By Scott Whipple, The Bristol (CT) Press, March 1, 2014

NEW BRITAIN — Workplace bullying is back in the public eye.

According to a recent national survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans — 93 percent — support enactment of a new law that would protect workers from repeated abusive treatment at work. Only 1 percent strongly oppose such a measure.

“Because of the strong public support and stories from Connecticut citizens we are seeking sponsors in the state legislature to enact the Anti-Bullying Healthy Workplace Bill” said Katherine Hermes, state co-coordinator promoting the legislation.

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Vermont advocate calls for hearing on workplace bullying bill

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Ban on workplace bullying stalled at Vermont Statehouse
Advocacy group asks lawmakers to hold public hearing
by Stewart Ledbetter, WPTZ, NBC-TV, Montpelier, VT, Feb. 28, 2014

Sherill Gilbert says she walks the Statehouse hallways as often as she can, trying to persuade members of the Legislature to take up her cause.

She’s determined, even after five years without much success.
 
“I’d love to see Vermont become first state with law against workplace bullying,” Gilbert said Thursday. “I’ve heard from people from all 14 Vermont counties. Somebody needs to do something. It’s the only legalized abuse in the United States.”

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Tennessee becomes 26th state to introduce anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bills

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

In the Tennessee House, Rep. Antonio Parkinson introduced HB 1981, the Healthy Workplace Bill to combat workplace bullying. Sen. Jim Kyle simultaneously introduced the companion bill, SB 2226.

Both bills mark the introduction of Tennessee to the legislative fight against workplace bullying. It is the 26th state to have taken this step since we began the campaign in 2003 in California.

Visit the Healthy Workplace Campaign website for details and specifically the Tennessee State Page for new bill details.

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Tulsa World: Bullying at work should not be ignored

Friday, November 29th, 2013

By Linda K. Greaves, Tulsa World Business Viewpoint, November 28, 2013

In a time when senseless and random acts of physical violence are occurring in our schools, the workplace, our shopping malls, airports and other public places, a more insidious and pervasive intentional violence is coming to the forefront — bullying.

In recent days, the NFL has been in the spotlight because of workplace bullying. Richie Incognito, a nine-year veteran of the Miami Dolphins was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team” in a flurry of accusations that he bullied teammate Jonathan Martin, using racial slurs and making threats of violence against him. Martin left the team, seeking medical relief from the alleged bullying.

Bullying is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as repeated and unwanted actions by an individual or group intending to intimidate, harass, degrade or offend. It is also an abuse or misuse of power. Bullying is psychological violence.

Legal remedies for bullying in the workplace are limited. If bullying is predicated on a protected class such as Race/Color, Religion, Sex (Gender, Pregnancy, and Sexual) National Origin/Ethnicity, Equal Pay/Compensation, Genetic information, Disability and/or Age, as defined by Title VII and the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act, the victim may have a cause of action against the bully or against the employer who knowingly allows or perpetuates bullying. Other torts such as Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress may be available to the victim, as well.

Twenty-five states, including Oklahoma, have attempted to pass some version of the model Healthy Workplace Bill since 2003, but to date, none have passed. This year, 11 states are actively considering enacting the bill, with 16 bills pending in 2013. Depending on each state’s proposed version, it generally gives a cause of action to an individual whose health is harmed by “health-harming cruelty” at work against the individual bully and/or the employer.

Bullying in the workplace not only has the potential for affecting a business through litigation, but it most certainly affects the productivity and bottom lines of companies on a daily basis. Employees who are bullied report stress, lower self-esteem, depression, anxiety, digestive upsets, high blood pressure, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result of these physical and psychological symptoms, absenteeism goes up; some employees cut back on work; some consider quitting; some take it out on innocent bystanders; others will steal from the job, sabotage work, damage equipment, damage the personal property of the bully or even contemplate or carry out a violent act.

Employers should be proactive. There are preventive measures that an employer can take. The employer should (1) immediately adopt and enforce a zero tolerance policy, (2) address the bullying behavior ASAP, (3) hold an awareness campaign, (4) stop and seek help if you are the bully, (5) model effective professional behavior, and (6) use facilitation, mediation or design a group for intervention/team building.

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Linda K. Greaves serves as of counsel for the Tulsa office of Crowe & Dunlevy in the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.

Follow the full NFL story in the Category list in the sidebar: NFL: Jonathan Martin

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, NFL: Jonathan Martin, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Bottomley: Workplace bullying is rampant

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

By Torii Bottomley, Cambridge (MA) Chronicle, Nov. 19, 2013

Workplace bullying has become rampant because it is driven by a buyer’s market in jobs.

In my professional practice of teaching English as a Second Language in a public school, not only was I bullied and removed from my position in front of my hysterical students without reason, but I am increasingly experiencing highly qualified colleagues and students who talk about bullying scenarios. When I ask whether they are referring to sexual harassment, age discrimination or cause-based performance issues, they more frequently refer to being abused by not having access to shared information, harassment, intimidation and threats of poor evaluations and isolation.

I have highly performing colleagues who have lost their jobs or have been forced to quit due to a narcissistic manager who has enjoyed virtually unrestricted rein in threatening job loss or career damage.

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WBUR: David Yamada on the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

From Radio Boston, WBUR, July 2, 2013

Suffolk University Law Professor David Yamada on HB 1766 in Massachusetts, the Healthy Workplace Bill.

Listen at the WBUR Audio Archives

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Media About Bullying, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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