NY Workplace Bullying Conf
This weekend I attended a conference about workplace bullying sponsored by the New York State Psychological Association at John Jay College. It was a small turnout and much of the information was familiar overview for those of us who follow this topic but there were some interesting moments that are well worth noting.
In his Keynote address, Dr Gary Namie repeated the unusual argument that without harm there is no bullying [No Harm No Foul] but this time he noted, no surprise, that his definition of bullying is tied to the Healthy Workplace Bill that he is pushing. Yikes! So in order to pass a bill the new definition of bullying means that if I’m following the advice of psychologists surrounding me in the audience and I’m able to cope with the situation I’m in — I’m not being bullied? Something’s wrong here. Maybe the law should be changed and not the science. Continue reading
New Hampshire’s 2013 version of the Healthy Workplace Bill HB 591 has been tabled for this year and a rewrite is in the works. Fingers crossed that legislators have recognized the need to remove “malice” from the text because it creates a virtually impossible hurdle for targets of abuse to overcome in order to actually use this law to protect themselves. We’ve written about this before and below is the SEIU article about New Hampshire. We applaud SEA for getting this legislation started and hope they use this opportunity to bring in new voices as several other states have begun to do in order to craft a target centric approach that’s also fair to businesses (instead of the other way around). Continue reading
Last week Pima County, Arizona implemented policy D.23.1 Preventing, Identifying and Addressing Workplace Bullying for their County employees. [D23-1 ] New rule: witnesses along with anyone who was made aware of behavior that may satisfy the definition of workplace bullying must now report the incident/s.
Many of us who have suffered the damage of working for an abusive boss have dreamed of the day that our co-workers would step in to help. However, this policy is missing the necessary contextual discussion that helps employees understand the important distinction between conflict and bullying. Only two of the 27 examples of bullying included in the policy reference the fact that bullying must be repeated and none recognize that bullying takes place over time. These actions need to be part of a pattern of abuse. Continue reading
We crawled over the figures from the EEOC and BLS to build a map that let’s you see how your State ranks nationally based on the number of EEOC Claims filed in 2012. Keep an eye on all the figures – while California has slightly less claims than Florida it also has half as many employees making California much less toxic. Ohio and Tennessee both show up in the low 3,000′s but Ohio has twice the work force making it twice as hostile. New York looks pretty good as a big employer and only 3.9% of the national average and Massachusetts shines. However, Georgia looks like a place to avoid. You’ll find plenty of data to play with so let us know if you can figure out why some states have more claims than others! Continue reading
Video of Mike Rice screaming at, pushing, and throwing basketballs at student players has gone viral. How did the video become public? NBC reports: “Because whatever spat that Rice got into with former staff member Eric Murdock couldn’t be resolved cordially. Murdock did not have his contract renewed by the university, so he blew the whistle. He went to Rice’s boss and tried to get him fired. When that didn’t work, he went to Outside The Lines and made sure that the world saw the video, because if the world didn’t see the video, Rutgers was going to do nothing more than smack Rice on the wrist and sweep this under the rug.” Continue reading
The purpose of my documentary research into the topic of workplace bullying has been to ask several questions – chief among them is:
Can workplace bullying be defined? If so, how and who decides? How do we avoid – and recognize – false accusations?
Below are some popular ways of defining workplace bullying that may be doing more harm than good. This article recognizes the work of those who have gone before and is respectfully intended to break down silos and build bridges that encourage broader more inclusive discussion as we move closer to a legislative solution.
1. NO HARM, NO FOUL: Continue reading
annapolis state house
Smart advocates seek multiple solutions to a problem. Advocates for U.S. workplace bullying legislation often point out that the U.S. is far behind other countries in addressing abusive work environments. But, these countries have a variety of approaches and don’t adhere to endorsing only one approach with one template. Canada’s Bill 168 broadens OHSA (our OSHA) legislation to include bullying. Here in the U.S, Maryland is currently debating Workplace Violence – a golden opportunity to include bullying. Why isn’t SEIU, cited in the article below, stepping up to include bullying (worker on worker violence) in Maryland’s proposed legislation? SEIU has been both the best and worst advocate against bullying. While they should be applauded for being the first to include bullying in contracts with employers, it’s important to understand the problems they face as leading the charge. SEIU successfully defended and reinstated employee who had been removed for alleged abuse to co-workers. Will union leaders develop a broader more inventive approach to fighting employers who bully their employees? Here’s an article on the push for Maryland’s workplace violence legislation: Continue reading