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Tennessee Enacts Law to Prevent Workplace Bullying – But…

SB2226: Any person injured by any act in violation of this bill will have a civil cause of action in chancery court or circuit court…When an employer or employee is found to be in violation, the court may enjoin such employer or employee from engaging in the unlawful employment practice and may order any other relief necessary, including, but not limited to, the removal of the offending party from said work environment, medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, compensation for emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.  NOT!

Wouldn’t that paragraph have thrilled the hearts of all of us involved in the effort to pass abusive conduct legislation to protect employees? But, that’s not the portion of SB2226 that the Tennessee State Senate approved or the Governor signed. What they did enact “requires the Tennessee advisory commission on intergovernmental relations (TACIR), in consultation with the department of human resources and interested local government organizations, to create a model policy for local governments to prevent abusive conduct in their workplaces workplace. The model policy shall:

(1) Assist employers in recognizing and responding to abusive conduct in the workplace; and
(2) Prevent retaliation against any employee who has reported abusive conduct in the workplace. (more…)

Kansas Joins Push For New Ways To Address Workplace Bullying

…It is the purpose of this act to insure that every state agency has a policy in place to address and correct workplace bullying…

Kansas has joined the growing number of States seeking out new legislative solutions to ensure dignity in our workplaces. The Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE) is pushing to get House Bill 2720, through their State Legislature to protect public workers from psychological abuse.  Click on this link to watch the Fox News report featuring KOSE speaker, John Bates.  Excerpts from the bill featured below  call on the state to adopt and enforce comprehensive workplace bullying policies.  Kudos to KOSE! We need this protection in the private sector too. (more…)

ON THE MOVE: New Templates For Workplace Bullying Legislation

[New Hampshire] SEIU’s member-driven workplace bullying legislation to protect public employees, HB 591, passed last month’s Senate vote. Rather than a “stand alone bill” it’s smartly tagged as part of the Whistle Blower’s Protection Act.  

Included in the welcome changes to the bill’s language that the Senate approved are:  (more…)

Using Union Contracts To Protect Teachers From Bullying

The NEA (National Education Association) published this article showing how union contracts can protect employees from bullying. Most interesting is the section on Massachusetts and the fact that Workplace Violence laws currently in place arguably offer protection from bullying: (more…)

SEIU’s Workplace Bullying Legislation Stalled

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).  (more…)

Why Raising Walmart Wages Helps The Economy

Walmart CEO Michael Duke’s $35 million annual salary constitutes an hourly wage equal to the annual salary of the average Walmart employee. — Jonathon Turley

Walmart tops the “leading retailer by employment chart” with over 2 million employees — next on the list is Target with only 365,000.  Today Walmart workers will go on strike to demand fair wages among other issues. A study by Demos reports that “Retail jobs are a crucial source of income for the families of workers in the sector, yet currently more than 1 million retail workers and their family members live in or near poverty.3 More than 95 percent of year-round (more…)

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