The level of hazing, bullying, harassment, and discrimination that makes up the latest NFL scandal splashed across today’s national headlines requires a culture of consent. And, it will take more than singling out the racist tweets of a single player to resolve. Here’s a sampling of media reports about the NFL and it’s inability to address abusive behavior in recent years. Note: the NFL recently amended their sexual harassment policies because of concerns that scouts were asking young college hopefuls about their preference for men or women. “Do you like girls?” Feel free to add to the list of articles below that outline how long this problem has been bubbling over into the media:
March 8, 1998 the Washington Post published an Op-Ed in response to a Supreme Court decision, Oncale v. Sundowner. Sadly, the essence of this Op-Ed still resonates today: “Predicating harassment suits on discrimination is also something of a mismatch; what bothers people about abusive workplace conduct, after all, is not the fact that it may be discriminatory but that it is abusive in the first place… Congress should decouple Continue reading
Public Employees: Connecticut
Several years ago Connecticut State Senator Edith Prague wanted to pass workplace bullying legislation for public employees. The opposition argued that it was already covered under workplace violence policies and a study was requested to determine if it was indeed included. I was filming Prague’s support of the Healthy Workplace Bill at the time and remember well that she was passionate about the topic and surprised to learn that the handbook policies put in place after a tragic workplace 1998 shooting nearly 10 years earlier actually did address bullying behavior. The 2008 report concluded that: Continue reading
Below is the part of the Postal Service‘s “Stand up talks: respect in the workplace” campaign they provide for their employees that specifically addresses workplace bullying. Although gossiping is often considered bullying behavior, it is addressed as a separate topic. It will be interesting to see what type of impact this awareness raising effort has: Continue reading
So, your boss is making you miserable and you’re in that space where you just can’t stop talking about what they did to you today? yesterday? tomorrow? Detail after humiliating detail? And, it’s just not fair and you’re mad and you can’t think of enough miserable adjectives to describe the truly despicable way you’ve been treated? And, now it’s late at night and you’re at the computer and you just want to tell the world? Here’s a sobering infographic I found on the Internet that let’s you see just who is checking out what you have to say. Continue reading
When Policies Don’t Work
I would give anything to have the U.S. replicate the broad national investigation of abuse in our work cultures that Australia is currently undergoing. [sign our petition] At least we can watch from halfway around the world and learn from information being presented. Because, one of the issues being discussed is that policies in the workplace need certain components if they are going to be effective. Unfortunately, here in America the most popular template for legislation, the Healthy Workplace Bill, doesn’t even require employers to put policies in place much less dictate that the point person for employees to complain to should be separate from HR. Hopefully that will change and the bill will be amended by some smart legislator before it passes. Continue reading
Browsing through the digital libray I found this great NY Times Career Couch column from way back in 2007 and it deserves another read especially if you’re starting to wonder if that boss of yours is a bully:
Q. Your boss regularly berates you in department meetings, and the behavior is starting to become offensive to you. What should you do?
A. Think before you act. John McKee, president of Four Windows No Walls Consulting, a consulting firm in Sedalia, Colo., says that although it is never acceptable for a boss to belittle employees, reacting emotionally can prompt you to do something you will regret. Continue reading
This infographic is courtesy of Tony Shin:
(Personal comments from an online petition created by a coalition fighting workplace bullying that asks the Obama Administration to enact uniform national legislation or regulation in response to the devastating impact of workplace bullying. Each signature generates an email sent directly to President Obama and Secretary of State, Hilda Solis.)
Tragically this is only a small sampling of the stories woven among thousands and thousands of signatures. (Some comments are excerpted)
#6936 ah yes. i remember that boss i had who screamed at me that i couldn’t quit (quite intimidating about it; i was afraid she was going to hit me), and who threw the telephone across the room and kicked animals. fun stuff. good times. y’know
How cool is this!
Beverly, You signed on February 10, 2012. Your signature has been delivered to: Department of Labor and President Obama
Many of us have experienced the devastating consequences of this abuse first hand. Some, like myself, were lucky enough to move on. Far more do not. No one should ever be subjected to a hostile work environment.
Add Your Voice
Using the media to bring attention
It’s not unusual for me to get emails with attached documentation from victims/targets suffering abusive work environments. Sometimes they hold up and sometimes the evidence suggests the real bully is the one reaching out to me – angry that they can’t dictate what management should be doing. No doubt mainstream journalists have had access to these stories for years and ethical concerns about printing subjective information that can destroy careers and businesses kill story after story. But, as bullying has become a popular topic among readers it’s now far more common to see allegations of abuse hit the headlines. The latest example out of Minnesota is featured in today’s Star Tribune: Continue reading
“These Jobs Aren’t Coming Home”
Last year President Obama met with Steve Jobs and other major leaders in the Tech world and asked what it would take to bring their factories home and hire American workers. Steve Jobs answer was clear: “these jobs aren’t coming home.” [NY Times 1/22/2012]
“…The president’s question touched upon a central conviction at Apple. It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products…” Continue reading
For years advocates have been trying to pass workplace bullying legislation in Vermont. Last year, SB.52 started as yet another attempt to re-introduce the Healthy Workplace Bill (aka Abusive Work Environment Act). But, this time something happened. Instead of dying in committee, the language was completely struck and totally rewritten to ensure that lawmakers look into all possible approaches before adopting legislation that will impact both employers and employees throughout the state. (After all, isn’t that what our elected officials are supposed to do?) The Senate wants a task force created to determine the best way to provide relief and redress for state residents suffering in abusive work environments. The new version of SB.52 became very active and passed the Senate. If it makes it out of the general committee and is passed through to the Governor’s desk, the task force’s findings could create a landmark moment for those of us who would like to see bullying legislation become a reality. Continue reading
This New Years I’m giving thanks to all of you who have supported my work and helped me create a powerful network of websites and videos. Top on the list is my tech guru and videographer, Patrick Perrotto, who has always been there. He freely donated the use of his state of the art broadcast quality equipment and did much of the driving.
Over the years we’ve been to Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey, New York (numerous times), Virginia (numerous times), Pennsylvania and Canada and I even took a few solos to Wisconsin, Texas & Wales. Pat arranged for Ed Hollema to donate his services as Audio & Asst Camera. Let me put it this way, had we all been paid for our time, services, and equipment it would have easily cost upwards of $200,000+. I am forever indebted to them both. Feel free to help by making a donation of any size.