Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’


Two tales for 2014 Labor Day

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Happy Labor Day. Two tales about unionism. Abraham Lincoln said it best:

Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.

Good news in an unexpected place: Workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen auto manufacturing plant have created UAW Local 42 to represent workers. The company is expected to recognize the union once a threshold number of workers join the union. The company favored the union in the Feb. 2014 election. Outside Tennessee politicians fought hard to defeat the union winning the support of workers to keep Tennessee hostile to unions. It is a “right to work” state.

Bad news where least expected: Amazon fights its workers’ right to unionize in Germany, a union-friendly country. Along with GMO and fast food, another horrible American export — anti-unionism!

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Remember without workers CEOs would have no income and investors would have no companies to push to their limits of productivity.

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Unions | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



HR Exec: Taking Aim at Workplace Bullies

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

By David Shadovitz | Human Resource Executive, July 10, 2014

Anti-bullying legislation continues to gain momentum in state legislatures, with Tennessee becoming the first state to pass anti-bullying legislation.

On June 17, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law the Healthy Workplace Act, a law that affects the practices of state and local government agencies. Private employers are not affected.

The law defines “harassment, intimidation or bullying” as any act that “substantially interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment,” and instructs the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernment Relations to create a model policy by next March. Employers have the option to adopt the TACIR policy or not. Those deciding to enact it would be immune from claims arriving from bullying behavior.

Proponents of anti-bullying legislation and experts believe other states could soon follow in the Volunteer State’s footsteps, with some pointing to New York and Massachusetts as the most likely to pass anti-bullying laws that would also include private-sector employers.

So far, 28 states have introduced anti-bullying legislation this year, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash.

In June, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla vetoed legislation that would have held both public- and private-sector employers in that territory accountable for workplace bullying. In doing so, Padilla pointed to the Department of Justice’s view that the definition of “workplace harassment” is too vague and the fact that victims of workplace bullying can still seek protection under the territory’s Constitution.

Gary Namie, national director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and a chief architect of the Healthy Workplace Act, says his reaction to the Tennessee law is generally positive. Any legislation that focuses on abusive conduct in the workplace breaks the silence, he says. “You’re going to have all of the institutions talking about it now.”

But while he considers the Tennessee law a good first step, Namie adds that he’s disappointed by the legislation’s limited scope and authority, describing it as a “gutted” version of the Healthy Workplaces Act.

Namie notes that it’s also unfortunate that under the act “all of the processes still happen in-house under a shroud of secrecy . . . . “Everything remains internal.”

Recent studies confirm that bullying continues to be a widespread and troubling issue in workplaces.

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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 () »



Wall Street Journal: First State Workplace Bullying Law Has Few Fans

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.

(more…)

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Print: News, Blogs, Magazines | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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 () »



Tennessee Lawmaker pushes Healthy Workplace Bill

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Tennessee Rep. Antonio Parkinson, sponsor of the Healthy Workplace Bill

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



Flurry of Healthy Workplace Bill activity in NY & TN

Monday, March 17th, 2014

This week in anti-bullying legislative news:

Albany, New York
Tuesday March 18 at 1 pm
LCA Room, Legislative Office Building

Advocates for New York bills: A4965 & S3863

- Assemblyman Steve Englebright & Senator Diane Savino, bill sponsors
- Mike Schlicht & Tom Witt, NY Healthy Workplace Advocates
- Randy Goldberg, President CSEA Local 658, Albany
- John Richter, Mental Health Assoc in NY State (MHANYS)
- Citizen advocates

Press contact: Elizabeth Nostrand for ASM Englebright – 518-455-4804

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Nashville, Tenneessee
Tuesday March 18 at 1:30 pm
Legislative Plaza Room 12
State Capitol complex

Public hearing for SB 2226
Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Chair Sen. Jack Johnson, Vice-Chair Sen. Mark Green, and Vice-Chair Charlotte Burks

Contact these Committee members using our E-Z Letter e-mailing tool on the TN State Page of the national Healthy Workplace Campaign website.

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Nashville, Tenneessee
Wednesday March 19 at Noon
Room HHR 30, State Capitol

Public hearing for HB 1981
House Local Government Subcommittee.
Chair, Rep. Joe Carr

Contact Rep. Carr and HB 1981 Rep. Parkinson using our E-Z Letter e-mailing tool on the TN State Page of the national Healthy Workplace Campaign website.

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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2 | 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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Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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