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 →
Fortune/CNN Money’s article by Jonathon A. Segal, “Hard to Define: Even Harder To Ban,” clearly recognizes the severity and devastating impact of workplace bullying on the American worker and their employers. It’s been over ten years and 25 states since the first version of the Healthy Workplace Bill was introduced and still no takers. Segal sees a message in this #fail. Continue reading →
Can the Federal Government protect their employees from bullying? At least one agency can –here’s the workplace bullying policy posted on the NIH website. Warm thoughts to all who have been furloughed during the shutdown:
The Department of Health and Human Services is committed to providing a safe and positive work environment for all employees. Recently, press coverage and technology use has shed light on the issue of bullying, bringing real time images of inappropriate behavior to our homes and workplace. Bullying occurs when people use their power, via verbal, physical or other means to control or harm others. Often, the victims have a hard time defending themselves. It usually involves repeated negative behavior. Continue reading →
What’s the best way to address workplace bullying? California’s largest union (SEIU 1000) decided to do it by simply expanding the workplace violence portion of their Dignity Clause (See documents below). Each state department is required to maintain and distribute a “workplace violence & bullying” policy to their employees. Just north of us, Ontario Bill 168 does the same thing. Unions have played an historic role in America as the advocate for the voiceless worker and this of course begs the question – why haven’t union leaders made this case to legislators to follow Ontario’s lead in using workplace violence as the basis of legislative protection for millions of suffering workers? Continue reading →
Several years ago Connecticut State Senator Edith Prague wanted to pass workplace bullying legislation for public employees. The opposition argued that it was already covered under workplace violence policies and a study was requested to determine if it was indeed included. I was filming Prague’s support of the Healthy Workplace Bill at the time and remember well that she was passionate about the topic and surprised to learn that the handbook policies put in place after a tragic workplace 1998 shooting nearly 10 years earlier actually did address bullying behavior. The 2008 report concluded that: Continue reading →
Smart advocates seek multiple solutions to a problem. Advocates for U.S. workplace bullying legislation often point out that the U.S. is far behind other countries in addressing abusive work environments. But, these countries have a variety of approaches and don’t adhere to endorsing only one approach with one template. Canada’s Bill 168 broadens OHSA (our OSHA) legislation to include bullying. Here in the U.S, Maryland is currently debating Workplace Violence – a golden opportunity to include bullying. Why isn’t SEIU, cited in the article below, stepping up to include bullying (worker on worker violence) in Maryland’s proposed legislation? SEIU has been both the best and worst advocate against bullying. While they should be applauded for being the first to include bullying in contracts with employers, it’s important to understand the problems they face as leading the charge. SEIU successfully defended and reinstated employee who had been removed for alleged abuse to co-workers. Will union leaders develop a broader more inventive approach to fighting employers who bully their employees? Here’s an article on the push for Maryland’s workplace violence legislation: Continue reading →