Ken Westhues is generally regarded as the global expert on the topic of Mobbing. He weighed in publicly this week on our documentary about workplace bullying, What Killed Kevin.
“…Read Harper’s review here of Beverly Peterson’s powerful documentary, What Killed Kevin?, a case study of the difference between focusing on alleged workplace bullies and grappling instead with the complexities of group dynamics…” “…an extraordinarily important documentary…”
My ex-boss was a rainmaker and it wasn’t long before I understood why I was one of a quickly growing list of people to have had that job. I soon found myself undergoing a heart cath procedure because I’d failed multiple tests. It turned out I was actually suffering the side effects of stress and the diagnosis was that I needed to quit my job. I decided to try reasoning with upper management one more time. All I wanted was a transfer back to my old position. I will never forget that day. He readily admitted that I was being horribly abused but then he brought down the hammer. If I thought I had some kind of grounds – I should sue because if I didn’t continue on in that position I was fired. I walked away from that experience keenly aware that fear of litigation on their part may well have protected me.
I’m a filmmaker so I started making short documentaries about victim/targets of workplace bullying. Each video highlighted the impact not just on the target but often for the family. My films allowed me to speak with experts, researchers, legislators, advocates, victims/targets, alleged bullies, business & HR reps, journalists and many others both here in the U.S. and abroad. At the time few people even knew what the term workplace bullying meant. It wasn’t until I made What Killed Kevin (reviewed in the Huffington Post), for which I interviewed the alleged bully boss, that I was able to recognize how subjective and tragic many of these situations can be for everyone involved. Continue reading →
How hard is it to protect your employees and bottom line from workplace bullying? One upstate town in New York simply expanded their workplace violence policy. Read this week’s article by Nancy Fischer in the Buffalo News (3/4/14):
City policy on workplace bullying is adopted by Council in North Tonawanda
NORTH TONAWANDA – Bullying has gotten a lot of attention among schoolchildren, but hostile work environments and bullying behavior in the workplace are now being addressed by a bill in the State Legislature.
In advance of the proposed legislation, the North Tonawanda Common Council unanimously adopted its own measure Tuesday, updating its 2009 Workplace Violence Prevention Policy with specific language to address bullying.
The Council did not discuss the policy, but Mayor Robert G. Ortt said after the meeting that bullying is a “real deal” that goes beyond schools, even to the case involving the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League.
“I think if you are going to ask kids to behave a certain way, there’s no reason not to expect adults to behave in the same manner,” Ortt said. Continue reading →
…It is the purpose of this act to insure that every state agency has a policy in place to address and correct workplace bullying…
Kansas has joined the growing number of States seeking out new legislative solutions to ensure dignity in our workplaces. The Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE) is pushing to get House Bill 2720, through their State Legislature to protect public workers from psychological abuse. Click on this link to watch the Fox News report featuring KOSE speaker, John Bates. Excerpts from the bill featured below call on the state to adopt and enforce comprehensive workplace bullying policies. Kudos to KOSE! We need this protection in the private sector too. Continue reading →
Below is an excerpt from the much anticipated report that was released today. Or, you can download it here and read the whole 148 pages [link]:
3. The Mistreatment of Martin Is Consistent with a Case of Workplace Bullying
We find that the harassment of Martin bears many hallmarks of a classic case of bullying, where persons who are in a position of power harass the less powerful. It may seem odd to some that Martin, a professional football player with imposing physical stature, could be described as a victim of bullying or harassment, but even big, strong athletes are not immune from vulnerability to abusive behavior. Continue reading →