Home » Uncategorized » Adding OSHA to the arsenal against workplace bullying – it’s about time!

Adding OSHA to the arsenal against workplace bullying – it’s about time!

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English: Logo for the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“OSHA’s existing regulatory scheme should incorporate workplace bullying because OSHA is a singularly appropriate vehicle for such efforts and because prevention of workplace bullying through an existing scheme complements efforts to enact new legislation specifically addressing the problem.” [Susan Harthill]

Several years ago Susan Harthill presented her findings at the 2010 International Conference on Workplace Bullying & Harassment to leading advocates, researchers, and practitioners within the global workplace bullying movement.  Besides Harthill, keynote speakers included Professor David Yamada, author of the Healthy Workplace Bill, and Dr Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute. Rather than incorporating Harthill’s ideas as a quiver in the U.S. battle against office abuse, advocates for the WBI’s Healthy Workplace Bill chose to advocate only for their legislation.  That is, of course, their prerogative. But, imagine how much further things may have advanced if it were a multi-pronged effort dedicated to protecting workers through a variety of approaches. Several members of the broader effort to stop workplace bullying have embraced a national petition bearing nearly 8,000 heartbreaking signatures asking the Obama Administration to explore options to protect U.S. workers from bullyng.

This week Yamada posted an article on his popular blog about a recent workplace violence ruling: “OSHA’s recognition of workplace violence as a serious hazard raises hopes that workplace bullying, too, will get greater attention.”  Yamada is correct in saying: “Of course, mild penalties are one of the genuine limitations of current federal workplace safety law, as reflected by rather paltry proposed fines (under $20,000) in the TMI case. In addition, this statute does not allow individual claims for damages by injured workers. Identical limitations would apply in workplace bullying situations as well.” That’s true — but Harthill points out that both approaches are needed. Those involved in seeking solutions to something as devastating as a toxic workplace should be free to advocate for as many solutions as possible.  There is a long standing struggle to strengthen OSHA fines and regulations that could use the marketing expertise of the WBI. Sign the petition.


1 Comment

  1. norma says:

    Bullies should be charged with felonies.

    Like

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