Codes of Conduct Can Protect Employees From Bullying

“…Managers must foster an environment of integrity, honesty and respect. This includes creating a work environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying of any kind. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and is inconsistent with our values and the Code of Conduct…” BNY MBNA Code of Conduct

Corporate Codes of Conduct

courtroomWhile the U.S. may not have a law in place yet to protect workers from the devastating impact of workplace bullying — or even an agreed upon definition — there are major corporations that recognize the vital role of mutual respect and professionalism. The recent decision of Mark A. Kuzma (Plaintiff) v. MBNA Institutional PA Services, LLC (Defendant) brings home just how powerful these corporate “Codes Of Conduct” can be. According to court papers, Kuzma was terminated by MBNA for repeated breeches of professional conduct as outlined in this 2007 memo Kuzma received putting him on notice:

Continue reading

Pima County Puts Witnesses of Workplace Bullying On Notice

Seal of Pima County, Arizona

[12/6/13 Update] Last night the Tucson JCC screened my documentary, What Killed Kevin, followed by a panel discussion that included Mike Tully, one of the primary authors of the Pima County workplace bullying policy. He is genuinely committed to making this legislation work. His work will become an invaluable test case of how to address investigating and implementing a policy like this. It also emphasizes the difficulty of how to find a definition of workplace bullying. Faced with this dilemma, Tully chose a list of behaviors that could be pointed to as unacceptable and enforced.

[Original post from April 24, 2013] Last week Pima County, Arizona implemented policy D.23.1 Preventing, Identifying and Addressing Workplace Bullying for their County employees. [D23-1 ]  New rule: witnesses along with anyone who was made aware of behavior that may satisfy the definition of workplace bullying must now report the incident/s. Continue reading

Mike Rice and Prevention Policies #FAIL

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 8.13.04 AMVideo of Mike Rice screaming at, pushing, and throwing basketballs at student players has gone viral. How did the video become public? NBC reports: “Because whatever spat that Rice got into with former staff member Eric Murdock couldn’t be resolved cordially. Murdock did not have his contract renewed by the university, so he blew the whistle. He went to Rice’s boss and tried to get him fired. When that didn’t work, he went to Outside The Lines and made sure that the world saw the video, because if the world didn’t see the video, Rutgers was going to do nothing more than smack Rice on the wrist and sweep this under the rug.” Continue reading

Employer #fails in attempt to flip bullying policy against employees

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

A recent NLRB decision may help protect that venting you’ve been doing about your job on Facebook – so long as it falls under very specific criteria. But, it also shows how an employer can try to flip that “zero tolerance” “bullying & harassment policy” against employees. Slate summed it up this way: “The case—Hispanics United of Buffalo—started one Saturday morning in 2010. That was when domestic violence advocate Mariana Cole-Rivera took to Facebook to complain that one of her co-workers was unfairly accusing fellow employees of laziness. Several other staffers at Hispanics United of Buffalo chimed in to say they worked plenty hard already. Soon after Cole-Rivera and her co-workers returned to work, HUB fired five of them, arguing that their off-the-clock comments had violated the nonprofit’s anti-harassment policy.”  The NLRB decision ruled against HUB’s use of the bullying policy for the terminations: Continue reading

Postal Service “Talks” About Workplace Bullying

Below is the part of the Postal Service‘s “Stand up talks: respect in the workplace” campaign they provide for their employees that specifically addresses workplace bullying. Although gossiping is often considered bullying behavior, it is addressed as a separate topic. It will be interesting to see what type of impact this awareness raising effort has: Continue reading

Bullied Federal Workers May Get Help

Below is a great article from Patricia Barnes, author of SURVIVING BULLIES, QUEEN BEES AND PSYCHOPATHS IN THE WORKPLACE.  She is also one of the people who created the Care2 petition asking for a national answers — please help bring attention to this petition!  Sign it and pass it on http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/protect-us-workers/ :

Federal Agencies Urged to Address Workplace Bullying

When an incident of assault, harassment, intimidation, or bullying occurs in a federal workplace, it is usually caused by an employee rather than a customer, criminal, or someone who has a personal relationship with the victim. Continue reading