[New York] If you’re sitting in a cubicle popping anti-depressants and hiding from a toxic boss your wait for legal protection just got longer.
On August 11th, Governor Paterson vetoed S1948, a bill to study hostile workplaces citing the $366,000 cost amendment tagged on by NY’s Dept of Labor.
I spoke with DOL Counsel, Maria Colavito before the veto and she said the DOL would have to hire staff to conduct studies. When I asked why they would need to conduct studies since this topic has already been researched pretty extensively for decades she voiced concern that the bill would replicate the 5 year NIOSH study currently underway.
Colavito gave me the contact info for Matt London of PEF who is deeply involved in creating policy for NY’s newly enacted Workplace Violence prevention law which protects employees in the public sector. Type 3 Workplace Violence — worker on worker — does include workplace bullying. Great news for public employees but no help at all for those in the private sector terrified of going to work each day and precisely the employees S1948 was expected to help.
London said that he would be happy to share data currently being gathered in NY agencies in the NIOSH study and expects it to be available in September. It would certainly seem that this would reduce the need for any new studies or data gathering as well as impact the cost of hiring additional employees by the DOL. And, it could also mean the DOL could meet their one year turn around deadline by concentrating on how this data reflects hostile workplaces right here in NY by holding public hearings and forums — not unlike the ones they held for the workplace violence bill.
Still not convinced? Compare the estimated $366,000 price tag to the monetary award in last year’s landmark “workplace bully” lawsuit in Indiana. The abused worker won a $325,000 judgment.
Research shows that each abusive boss creating a hostile workplace may cost $83,000. This does NOT factor in the high $$ impact on the victim’s health insurance OR the loss of income during today’s economic cri$i$. [Mattice]