Reprint from New Hampshire Public Radio July 28, 2014
Governor Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill she called “well-intentioned” aimed at protecting public employees from bullying in the workplace.
Under the so-called “Healthy Workplace Bill,” things like an “unreasonable” workload or “constant and unreasonable criticism” would have been cause for action. Although the bill only covered public employees, Adrienne Rupp of theBusiness and Industry Association says the group lobbied Hassan for a veto.
“It kind of opens the door. You know, the language in the bill was very vague and subjective in our opinion,” she says. “And I think, had a bill like this passed and become law, I think the next logical step would have been to look at the private sector.”
The State Employees Association was one of the bill’s strongest supporters.
But in her statement Hassan said the bill was too broad and subjective. She also said it would have upended the state’s system already in place to deal with harassment complaints, and that creating a new system amounted to an unfunded mandate.
Listen to the radio program here [link]
Very, very disappointing! United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Norway, most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc. with functioning anti-bullying legislation and an emphasis on workplace civility, honorableness and empathy aren’t ahead of the times, they’re WITH the times.
New Hampshire appears to be BEHIND the times. And unwilling to humanistically evolve.
Experiment with providing an extension and enlarging of Civil Rights protections. This is what it’s about:
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is defined as any offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or an abuse or
misuse of power, which has the purpose, or effect of, intimidating, belittling and humiliating the
recipient, leading to loss of self-esteem and ultimately the self-questioning of their worth.
Give, on paper, a real chance for the bullied to be heard and all employees, public and private, will be that much more motivated in their jobs. The fact of honorable new civil rights support uplifts everyone. We can smell the enlarging consciousness for greater respect and dignity in the workplace.
Sure, the state already has protections in place, but not for everyone, only for “protected classes.” Enlarge and expand civil rights protections to include everyone.
Don’t bow to self-serving, paranoid Chamber of Commerce types. A job killer? Nonsense! This is a job enhancer for everyone.
It is sad that the Governor vetoed this bill. It would have required policies, training and investigation of claims. The Governor could have passed the bill and assigned a task force to define workplace bullying prior to implementation of the act. To deny protections to public employees because it may leak into the private sector is just wrong.