Our Top 2011 Posts on Workplace Bullying

This year our most popular posts continue to cover a wide range of topics and issues related to workplace bullying.  We  continue to focus on our mission to critique and offer new voices and alternatives to the current dialogue.   Two 2010 posts ( about Mediation & OSHA ) are still extremely popular.  Here’s a recap for 2011:

#1 Should Steve Jobs “management style” continue?

  • Here’s a dilemma for those of us concerned about workplace bullies: Steve Jobs.  One of the arguments for ‘zero tolerance’ and proposed legislation is that no one is irreplaceable.   The public response to Jobs’ death heralding him as this generation’s Edison also praised him for his ability to utilize team work and it’s hard to imagine anyone waiting in the wings who could have had such a global impact.  But, stories about his true ‘management style ‘ have been public for years.  So the real question is, does Steve Jobs fall under the definition of a workplace bully?   Would legislation, like the bill proposed by the Workplace Bullying Institute currently pending in several States, have crippled Jobs’ ability to be a visionary of historic proportions?  How do we take academic and legislative definitions and apply them to real workplace relationships?  These are questions that all of us involved in lobbying for legislation need to wrestle with. [more ]

#2 Workplace Bullying: Would a law protect me?

  • When is a Law Too Business Friendly? Many of the victims of workplace bullying that I come in contact with are devastated by the struggle to overcome anger and feelings of powerlessness.   They want to take action.  They want to protect others.  They want a law!  Proposed legislation like the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB) seems made to order.  But, Patricia G. Barnes argues that the bill is “unnecessarily restrictive” and “would require American workers who are targets of workplace bullying to jump high hurdles that do not exist for workers in other countries.  There is no valid reason to set the bar lower for American workers.” [more]

#3  Tell Your Story! 

  • Have you been bullied by an abusive boss or coworker? Site visitors post their own stories         [ more ]

#4 What do “Hot Coffee” and “Workplace Bullying” have in common?

  • This week, advocates in a dozen states are taking part in “OurBullyPulpit’s Take Action Screenings” to raise public awareness about workplace bullying.  Many are advocates for pending legislation, which in most states is the Healthy Workplace Bill [HWB].  But, the HWB they’re fighting for includes a $25K Cap on our (victims’s) emotional distress portion for those who haven’t lost their jobs, been demoted or suffered any other negative action.  You also have to prove malice and health harm.  The argument by the drafter of the HWB is that a purposely low Cap and high hurdles will help avoid “frivolous lawsuits.” But, using Caps to avoid “frivolous lawsuits” is the battle cry for Tort Reform and so far much of the success from this effort has been the ability to place low monetary caps on court settlements.  Wisconsin’s controversial Governor just passed a tough reform in his state.  [more]

#5 Workplace Bullying is not a silent epidemic anymore

  • I began working on a documentary about workplace bullying in 2007. At that time it was next to impossible to “pitch” my project because no one had a clue what I was talking about.  Since then things have definitely changed.  A simple google search of “workplace bullying” will bring up tons of hits.  Add to that “psychological harassment” “toxic workplace” “hostile workplace” and it’s obvious that we’ve finally made it to water cooler conversations.  The downside is that most of the coverage is shallow and simplistic and doesn’t really dig deeply into what we need to understand to really combat this issue proactively in our offices.   I’m currently developing a new website that will go beyond my current work at NoJobIsWorthThis.com    Feel free to leave a message here, on our Facebook group site, or shoot me an email if you have suggestions for what you’d like to see.  Lots more discussion about this to come…  [bullyinworkplace@yahoo.com]

#6 Top 10+ Personality Traits of Bully Bosses (and workers too?)

  • “It is estimated that half of all executive careers end in failure.  The dark side” of a supervisor’s personality can impact their ability to manage.  The angel on their shoulder can make them a leader.  The devil can derail a business.  No one asks to be abused at work nor should it ever be excused.  And, victim/targets currently struggling with the dehumanizing experience of bullying can hardly be expected to look for the charming aspects of their boss. But, and this is a big BUT, the rest of us need to have the ability to admit that it’s not just bosses who have these traits.  How often have you had to deal with a co-worker with “attitude” who uses these same tactics toward the boss – or even you? [ more ]

 #7 Workplace Bullying: Where’s The Beef?

  • I believe that if we’re honest with ourselves we can learn some hard lessons from Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week – an event that has been around for at least 4 years.  This year I decided to join in the effort and sponsor Take Action Screenings and offered free DVDs as part of our new initiative to use film to create change.  I’m delighted that the videos were used by advocates in a dozen states – and Australia – in a wide variety of venues.   But, I also recognize that this is a drop in the bucket for what needs to happen on a broader level.  Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week has been in place nearly half a decade.  And, while we applaud the efforts of others scattered around the country who worked hard to garner signed proclamations in 38 cities and one county, it’s important for us to heed this as a wake-up call.   As near as I can tell there are some 30,000+ cities in the US.  That’s not to denigrate any of the work others are doing – it’s merely meant to raise the bar.  Ironically, workplace bullying was more prominently covered by the media in the months leading up to the event.  So, the real question is: why hasn’t this effort really resonated beyond a small cadre of people into a true coalition?   Is it time for a new approach?  Here’s an article fromWhenTheAbuserGoesToWork.com that asks just that. Patricia Barnes asks that we start to look in new directions.  In keeping with our mission to foster open and frank discussion, you don’t have to agree with her or me but you do owe it to yourself to become part of the discussion. [more]

#8 “Jodie’s Law” needs “teeth” to fight workplace bullying

  • In 2010 I posted my short documentary “Jodie’s Law” about a young woman who her family alleges committed suicide due to workplace bullying.  This is an update from her Aunt: We have received tremendous response from your documentary both Nationally and around the world.  [ more ]

#9 Can you survive the office witch hunt?

  • I was fascinated by a recent series of articles in the Huffington Post written by Dr. Janice Harper and decided to learn more about her work.  Her 2010 paper, Just Us Justice, is the culmination of lessons learned from a chilling personal experience withmobbing in the workplace.   Anyone uncomfortable that she links this phenomena to lessons learned from the Holocaust should read the in-depth article, Trial by FBI Investigation.  The author details Harper’s horrific descent into what has been called an academic witch hunt. I decided to give her a call and quickly found myself deep in conversation with a fascinating woman.  She gave me permission to re-print excerpts of Just Us Justice which include Harper’s own perspective on how to survive mobbing.  As important, she raises questions about the efficacy of laws, “zero tolerance,” and the “bully label.” [more] 

#10 Documentary Features Foxconn Factory Workers

  • Shortly after Steve Jobs’ death hit the news, I caught an early morning round table discussion with Mike Daisey.  He is funny!  But, as he talked about his latest one-man show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, I was really hooked by his delight in shocking those members of his audience from Apple who outsource their product to factories in China.  [more]

1 thought on “Our Top 2011 Posts on Workplace Bullying

  1. Pingback: Effects of Workplace Bullying « Health and Social issues public interest activism

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