Op-ed re-printed from Courier News – CentralJersey.com (Gannett), November 21, 2013
Workplace bullying is an important 21st century issue widely covered in the media and the internet. It is estimated to affect one-half of American workers, either as a victim or an observer of workplace bullying.
Columnist Jay Jefferson Cooke’s Nov. 10 article on bullying between football players prompted me to write this letter. Having tried workplace bullying cases in the NJ Workers’ Compensation Court before my retirement, I know that severe psychiatric injuries can result from workplace bullying; especially, when others gang up on the victim or condone the actions of the perpetrators by their silence. Employers also suffer negative consequences such as reduced productivity of its employees and increased medical expenditures.
Recently, a group of individuals from academia, law and the public with personal interest in the topic formed the National Workplace Bullying Coalition (NWBC), formerly known as the NJ Workplace Bullying Coalition, to take action on the issue. Continue reading →
The Workplace Bullying Institute website warns attorneys who defend targets of workplace bullying:
• bullied clients present challenges because of their strong negative affect – they feel wronged, treated unjustly by both indifferent employers, inadequate laws and betrayed by their union, coworkers, HR, and senior management
• because of the stress-related health consequences…, they may actually be incapable of rendering good decisions and weighing options rationally
• if traumatized, clients will present themselves angrily and be unrealistically demanding.
Recently a member of our Facebook group wrote to say her boss told her he’d be going out of town next week so don’t bother coming in. And, oh yeah, she wouldn’t be paid either. Legal in your state? Ask an attorney. But, here’s what the DOL says: “an employer may change an employee’s work hours without giving prior notice or obtaining the employee’s consent (unless otherwise subject to a prior agreement between the employer and employee or the employee’s representative).” Where are those union contracts when we need them? Few of us really know our rights – here’s an important article by an employment lawyer, Donna Ballman, that EVERY employee needs to read: Continue reading →
Here’s an article by Jon Rehm of the Nebraska law firm, “Rehm, Bennet & Moore” who starts by saying “if you are being bullied at work, you should document the bullying, try to constructively confront the bully and speak with HR if the bullying continues. If bullying is persistent, you should also consider looking for other employment.” Rehm poses possible solutions on how to deal with workplace bullying from a legal perspective. Lots of interesting information…especially #2 Continue reading →
Here’s an article from the Canadian Workplace Legal Post which is a reminder to everyone involved in the U.S. workplace bullying movement that a variety of solutions can, and should, be embraced and supported. Canada has been strengthening their Workers Comp and OSHA regulations to be effective tools that can protect their workers:
Big Jury Award Arising from Workplace Bullying
Appropriate conduct in the workplace is ever changing. The most recent shift concerns bullying in the workplace, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the stern, often aggressive management styles of yesteryear may no longer be appropriate in the Canadian workplace. In light of this change in attitudes, employers must take note or suffer what may be very serious consequences, which are perhaps no better evidenced than the recent jury ruling by the Ontario High Court of Justice, which awarded 1.46 million dollars to an employee who claimed her manager bullied her. Continue reading →
The Hartford News publishes a regular column on racism and homophobia by the Community Party. They are currently focusing on claims of abuse at Connecticut Valley Hospital and note that “Rep. Matt Ritter has agreed to meet with CP and CVH employees next month to discuss abusive workplace conduct at the facility.” The CP is hoping that workplace bullying legislation would strengthen protections for CVH employees. With permission, here’s an excerpt from the Community Party’s latest article: Continue reading →