Ever since the landmark workplace bullying case was upheld by Indiana’s Supreme Court, the Joint Commissions has required that Hospitals address civility issues as a requirement in their accreditation process. Many states require lawyers adhere to civility codes for conduct in the courtroom. Now, according to NewHampshireSentinel.com, Rep. Susan Emerson, R-Rindge, is proposing a bill to stop bullying among legislators in her state capitol.
Emerson’s bill is not without opposition. But, one thing it could do is finally put an end to concerns about how to define what workplace bullying really is. And, frankly, maybe now we’ll have a public debate that brings lawmakers into play to do what they were elected to do; actually write and create laws that will address the concerns of their constituency.
“There’s been a lot of bullying going on this term, and I’m sick of it,” Emerson said in a phone interview. The details of how the proposed law would be defined and enforced need to be worked out with the Statehouse lawyers who will draft the bill, she said, but the aim of the proposal will be to prevent intimidation tactics among lawmakers.
Emerson and other lawmakers say House Speaker William L. O’Brien, R-Mount Vernon, yelled at her when she tried to propose a budget amendment to restore funding to Health and Human Services items that had been cut in the House budget proposal. O’Brien denies raising his voice, but said he removed Emerson from her longstanding appointment to the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee because of her opposition to the party leadership. Emerson’s suggestion has found support on both sides of the aisle. Twelve-term Rep. Julie Brown, R-Rochester, said she plans to support Emerson’s bill.
“It’ll send a message that everyone needs to be on their best behavior and be kind and allow people to have independent thoughts,” she said. “We’re not a bunch of ants following in line, we’re independent people — 400 of us…
…Brown cited a recent incident when Rep. Tony F. Soltani, R-Epsom, took the Statehouse floor to challenge O’Brien’s decision to close a nearly full House session without calling for a vote on the right-to-work bill, which was on the House calendar. O’Brien had the sergeant-at-arms escort him back to his seat.
“In (my) 24 years, you have always been able to stand up and say your piece,” Brown said. “What was done to (Soltani) was wrong.”
O’Brien could not be reached for comment.
[Original post by Sarah Trefethen of the Sentinel on June 8, 2011. Click here to read original story]