Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire’


NH Gov. veto of partial workplace bullying bill holds

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

New Hampshire lawmakers uphold veto of workplace bullying bill
By Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press, Sept. 18, 2014

The New Hampshire House on Wednesday upheld Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of a bill aimed at curbing workplace bullying among the state’s employees, despite strong calls from several lawmakers to go against the governor.

Supporters of the bill fell roughly 50 votes short Wednesday of the necessary two-thirds to override the veto. The majority of Republicans voted to sustain the veto while a majority of Democrats voted to overturn it.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), WBI in the News, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



NH workplace bullying bill vetoed by governor

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Gov. Hassan Vetoes Workplace Bullying Bill
By Holly Ramer, Associated Press, July 28, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a bill Monday aimed at protecting New Hampshire state employees from abusive work environments, saying it was well-intentioned but unworkable.

Lawmakers passed the measure after hearing from current and former state workers who said they experienced workplace bullying. It would have required state departments and agencies to develop policies to address harassment.

But Hassan said the legislation’s definition of “abusive conduct” was overly broad and would have made the most routine interactions potential causes of action. For example, workers could claim abuse if they believed they had “unreasonable” workloads, felt co-workers weren’t answering emails in a timely manner or had received constructive criticism from supervisors or peers, she said.

“The bill also attempts to legislate politeness, manners and the interpersonal relationships of co-workers,” Hassan said.

The governor said state employees deserve respect and the opportunity to work in respectful environments, but she argued the legislation would lead to a dramatic increase in lawsuits, which would in turn hinder productivity.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Diane Schuett, said she hopes lawmakers will override the veto.

“We all know there’s bullying in school, and just because someone graduates from school, doesn’t mean they stop doing it, and it carries over into the workplace,” she said. “It undermines the efficiency within state government if you end up with one or two employees being harassed on the job, either by another employee or a supervisor, and you end up with the entire agency being aware of it and feeling like they have to pick sides.”

Schuett, D-Pembroke, and other supporters said the state has no written policy against abuse in the workplace nor any office procedure to follow to address such issues. But Hassan said existing state rules give employees an avenue for making complaints.

Diana Lacey, president of the State Employees’ Association, disagreed. She said in the two years since the bill was first introduced, the governor has done little more than have the state personnel division develop an online “Respect in the Workplace” training presentation.

“It just feels like more stalling,” she said. “The governor has the power to issue an executive order to take this more seriously … If the governor wasn’t going to support the legislation, the governor’s office should’ve pitched an executive order and has not done so. So we’re very upset.”

As for the concern about litigation, Lacey said state employees already have been using the courts to seek relief.

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The WBI response to the veto.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Unions, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Anticipating opposition to New Hampshire HB 591

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The WBI-Healthy Workplace Bill in New Hampshire, HB 591, sponsored by the State Employees Association/SEIU Local 1984, will be heard in the House Labor Committee Tues. Feb. 19 (Details).

If the bill passes, protections against an abusive work environment (its definition in the bill follows the WBI definition of workplace bullying) would be granted to State workers. That means the opposition to the bill will not likly be led by the state chamber of commerce (the NH Business & Industry Association), though the bill is on their radar.

Principal opposition will be state agencies. The State is the employer who can be named liable for abusive practices that happen at their worksites. This alternate version of the bill has appeared in other states in past years. In each instance, State agencies make spurious claims that a new law is not needed. We contend that the HWB is necessary, given that bullying is so prevalent (35% of adult Americans experience it) when employers are free to exercise voluntary restraint.

Here is a six-pack of predictable objections and how to counter each.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Unions, Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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