A growing number of states are following Vermont‘s lead and deleting the original language of the Workplace Bullying Institute’s legislation (the Healthy Workplace Bill) and instead asking for a state-based team to draft their own bill. While it’s true that HWB advocates have invested a great deal of time and passion in their singular bill, Maryland’s proposed Senate Bill 999 would bring together a dream team that includes; the Secretary of Budget and Management, different union leaders, state employees, supervisors and a practicing attorney. Passing a legislative response for abusive work environments irregardless of protected class status is something all of us have struggled hard for and this solution holds real promise for Maryland’s state workers. The bill, which shows Senator Muse as the SOLE sponsor, passed unanimously in the Senate’s third reading on April 3, 2012 so it is now in appropriations. Below is the section that describes the work study group:
SENATE BILL 999
1 SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That
the Laws of Maryland read as follows:
(a) The Joint Committee on Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight shall convene a workgroup to:
(1) determine the extent to which abusive work environments exist in State agencies;
(2) determine the extent to which existing remedies address abuse suffered by State employees due to abusive work environments; and
(3) make recommendations, including draft legislation, regarding methods of strengthening existing remedies and any new remedies that are needed to address abuse suffered by State employees due to abusive work environments.
(b) The workgroup shall consist of:
(1) the Secretary of Budget and Management, or the Secretary’s designee; and
(2) the following members appointed by the co–chairs of the Joint Committee appointed under § 2–10A–08 of the State Government Article:
(i) three State employees who are not supervisors, of which:
1. one shall have been employed by the State for less than 5 years;
2. one shall have been employed by the State for at least 5 years but no more than 10 years; and
3. one shall have been employed by the State for more than 10 years;
(ii) three State employees who have held supervisory positions, of which:
1. one shall have held a supervisory position for less than 5 years;
2. one shall have held a supervisory position for at least 5 years but no more than 10 years; and
3. one shall have held a supervisory position for more than 10 years;
(iii) a member of the Maryland State Bar who practices in the State and is knowledgeable about abusive work environments and existing remedies for abuse suffered due to an abusive work environment; and
(iv) three representatives of labor unions that represent State employees, each of whom represents a different union.
(c) The Department of Budget and Management shall provide staff for the workgroup.
- Bullied Federal Workers May Get Help (bullyinworkplace.com)
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- Workplace Bullying Can Hurt Your Business (smallbiztrends.com)
Employees should be safe @ work. It is a tragedy that we are being hurt maliciously for opposing and reporting blatant employment discrimination~
Agreed! If this bill passes a team of people will come together to craft legislation. That means that there will be support from all of the necessary participants to pass it.