…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.Continue reading
[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:Continue reading
Catherine Mattice, MA is the President of Civility Partners, LLC. Civility Partners a consulting, training and coaching firm that provides system-wide solutions for ending bullying and replacing it positive workplace behavior. Below is a must read excerpt form Mattice’s book, BACK OFF! is a great resource for targets of abuse looking for tips to help navigate the workplace and make informed choices. Continue reading
Fortune/CNN Money’s article by Jonathon A. Segal, “Hard to Define: Even Harder To Ban,” clearly recognizes the severity and devastating impact of workplace bullying on the American worker and their employers. It’s been over ten years and 25 states since the first version of the Healthy Workplace Bill was introduced and still no takers. Segal sees a message in this #fail.Continue reading
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
[This is Part I of an excerpt from Janice Harper's new book, Mobbed! A Survival Guide to Adult Bullying and Mobbing. Harper advises against suing -- but if you find yourself in that situation she offers advice that may well help you understand what's happening to you. Part II will continue with how to prepare. These are just excerpts, her book goes into much greater detail on internal & external investigations, coping tactics, new ways to understand what's happening to you and much much more. Let us know if it helped you... ]Continue reading
What’s the best way to address workplace bullying? California’s largest union (SEIU 1000) decided to do it by simply expanding the workplace violence portion of their Dignity Clause (See documents below). Each state department is required to maintain and distribute a “workplace violence & bullying” policy to their employees. Just north of us, Ontario Bill 168 does the same thing. Unions have played an historic role in America as the advocate for the voiceless worker and this of course begs the question – why haven’t union leaders made this case to legislators to follow Ontario’s lead in using workplace violence as the basis of legislative protection for millions of suffering workers?Continue reading
“…Managers must foster an environment of integrity, honesty and respect. This includes creating a work environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying of any kind. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and is inconsistent with our values and the Code of Conduct…” BNY MBNA Code of Conduct
Corporate Codes of Conduct
While the U.S. may not have a law in place yet to protect workers from the devastating impact of workplace bullying — or even an agreed upon definition — there are major corporations that recognize the vital role of mutual respect and professionalism. The recent decision of Mark A. Kuzma (Plaintiff) v. MBNA Institutional PA Services, LLC (Defendant) brings home just how powerful these corporate “Codes Of Conduct” can be. According to court papers, Kuzma was terminated by MBNA for repeated breeches of professional conduct as outlined in this 2007 memo Kuzma received putting him on notice:
Maine’s Governor just sent a harsh message to the State’s labor force by vetoing a bill to study how Workers Compensation can be used to help alleviate the suffering of employees deeply impacted by workplace bullying. The Bangor Daily News quotes Governor LePage: “I cannot understand what additional policy recommendations could come forward from this study.” Ummmm, that’s the purpose of a study. Fingers croxx’d his veto will be overturned but historically that’s a slim chance. Both New Jersey & Wisconsin have shown that Workers Comp have the potential to become useful tools in the fight to prevent and offer help to dealing with the ramifications of psychological harassment.Continue reading
Why are some adults more likely to blame themselves rather than the bully boss bearing down on them? A recent study links self-blame (guilt) to depression and shows that this dangerous combo inhibits the ability to express indignation. The first piece of advice most targets of workplace bullying encounter when they seek help is the important mantra that it’s not their fault. This should be coupled at every turn with “seek counseling” to deal with the depression that often accompanies bullying and can lock targets into a feeling of hopelessness rather than seeking proactive solutions or leaving.Continue reading
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has acknowledged the immediate need to combat sexual abuse and harassment in all branches of the military. This will require major overhauls in how the military approaches sexual misconduct amid allegations that one of the people running a prevention program was guilty of the same abuse. “We have a problem with respect for women that leads to many of the situations that result in sexual assault in our Air Force,” Gen. Mark Welsh told reporters in a lengthy interview in his Pentagon offices [Time Magazine ] The Invisible War, the 2012 chilling Academy Award nominated documentary features haunting testimony from rape victims in the military.
Two must read mainstream articles were published this week. USA TODAY quoted an expert, Dorothy Espelage, who argues that because it’s “being used for everything from rolling eyes to ‘not wanting to be your friend’ to sexual assault, the word ‘bullying’ has really obscured our ability to focus on what’s happening… To call what’s happening with 18-to-22-year-olds ‘bullying,’ when in fact some of it is criminal behavior … it’s a disaster.” In Psychology TodayDr. Janice Harper brings the “bully label” argument to adult behavior in the workplace.”I don’t know what scares me more,” she writes, “the memoriesof venomous torment I’ve personally endured in school and in the workplace, or the troubling tide of anti-bullying rhetoric that I fear will do far more to embolden than control those mean-spirited people who consider their behavior acceptable as long as they convince themselves that it’s “deserved.” But I have discovered that to even discuss these concerns often leads to accusations, hostility and silencing responses nearly as aggressive as bullying itself…” Harper makes a strong argument and she’s not the only one pointing to the “demonizing” rhetoric used by “society” as part of the problem.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
[12/6/13 Update] Last night the Tucson JCC screened my documentary, What Killed Kevin, followed by a panel discussion that included Mike Tully, one of the primary authors of the Pima County workplace bullying policy. He is genuinely committed to making this legislation work. His work will become an invaluable test case of how to address investigating and implementing a policy like this. It also emphasizes the difficulty of how to find a definition of workplace bullying. Faced with this dilemma, Tully chose a list of behaviors that could be pointed to as unacceptable and enforced.
[Original post from April 24, 2013] 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 behaviorthat maysatisfy the definition of workplace bullying must now report the incident/s.Continue reading