As submitted to 9 to5 National Association of Working Women October, 2009
Toxic Work Environment, It Won’t Hurt to Look at Your Options
I am a California Healthy Workplace Advocate
and affiliated with the Workplace Bullying Institute’s legislative campaign for a Healthy Workplace bill (http://www.workplacebullyinglaw.org). Currently, there are no laws that protect employees against workplace bullying.
The legislative campaign for a Healthy Workplace bill is growing and gaining momentum in several states and in two
Canadian provinces. There are laws to protect employees against sexual harassment, but not against workplace
bullying which is just as pervasive in the workplace, and likely more damaging to the target.
It is instinctual to want to report workplace
bullying. However, in most cases, Human Resources (HR) is not your friend. HR represents
management. When you report what has happened to you, you will likely be perceived as the problem and
may then endure retaliation. HR will contact your supervisor to say that you reported a problem.
If you are reporting a supervisor or a manager, management will likely protect that individual and not you.
Also, be careful of who you confide in. Managers are friendly with other managers—they are
expected to be in a club of their own. Going up the ladder to complain may not garner you the results
you had hoped for. You will be labeled a troublemaker. It may be difficult for you
to find allies who will be sympathetic to your situation because co-workers are usually afraid to get involved or to speak
If you are being bullied, start looking at your options and ask yourself, “Do I really want to work in this
job?” “Is my health and sanity worth it?” You may want to seek an
immediate transfer if you work in a large organization. If you work for a small company, you may have
no choice but to look for another job. If you cannot find a transfer to another department due to blacklisting,
you may have to look for another job or suffer in silence.
I know several workers who transferred out to lower
paying positions rather than to continue working in a toxic work environment. These workers realized that
nothing happened to the bully even though there were numerous complaints. According to a Zogby International
poll conducted for the Workplace Bullying Institute, only 23% of bullies are ever punished for their abusive behaviors in
In what is now being called “The Great Recession,” it is a difficult choice to make whether to stay on
the job and suffer in silence or to seek another job. California unemployment statistics for August 2009 showed 12.2% of workers were unemployed.
It is important to note that government agencies do not track those workers who drop off the unemployment benefits
list, yet who may not have found a job.
Career experts suggest that workers should not quit a job before lining
up another job or have a plan. With fewer jobs and many more job applicants, it isn’t easy to find
a job these days. Thus, it is important to have a plan and savings to tide you over until another job
can be found. Some workers are going back to school to learn new job skills. Take the
time and look at your options.
If your supervisor is a bully and you have been written up numerous times, chances are a paper
trail is being created and that is a sure sign that your days may be numbered. It won’t hurt to
update your résumé, obtain job letters of recommendations, and check out your local newspaper’s on-line
“Career Builder” for jobs. No one need know that you are looking for another job other than
those that you have asked to write a letter of recommendation.
If you are experiencing anxiety and depression, please seek help
immediately by seeing a doctor and asking for a referral to a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. It
is important to take care of yourself. Do this while you still have health insurance coverage.
If you don’t have health insurance, seek out a local community mental health organization. It
is important to have medical records that document the stress and anxiety you will likely be experiencing. The
stress you are feel may manifest itself in other ways including high blood pressure, weight gain/loss, lack of sleep, gastrointestinal
In this difficult economy, it isn’t easy to quit a job; but one must ask, “Is it worth it?”
Only the individual that is bullied can answer this question. In time, the toxic work environment
will affect your health, your relationships, and your career. It may be time to start a new job search
because “work shouldn’t hurt.”
5/4/2009 Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates -
proud to announce that HJR 40, the study bill for the Abusive Work Environments Act, has passed with a unanimous floor
vote of the Illinois House of Representatives. The bill's sponsor, Representative Art Turner, has told us he fully
expects this bill to pass easily through the Illinois Senate. We have Senator William Delgado's support for this effort.
To read about House Joint Resolution 40, visit: http://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=40&GAID=10&DocTypeID=HJR&LegId=47520&SessionID=76&GA=96
Our goal is to include both public and private sector employees in the "Abusive Workplace
Environments Act." The bill that was sent to the Rules Committee (HB 374) only applied to public employees.
In the short run, this seems like a setback. In the long run, we may do better as a State to include all workers because
"work shouldn't hurt!"
The text HJR 40 is linked to the above site
and uses the language "workplace bullying." We are happy with this progress and will keep you well informed
as time passes. It would be a valued gesture now to thank House Majority leader Art Turner for the valued work he
has done for this very important legislation. E-mail: email@example.com or (217) 782-8116. While
you are at it, wish him well in his bid for Lt. Governor in 2010.
illinoishwa.org Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates
the full version of the Healthy Workplace Bill has been filed by State Senator and Assistant Majority Leader Joan Menard, Senate No. 699, making it the 11th
state this year to introduce the HWB into active legislation. Congratulations, the race is on!
3/12/09 Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, reponds
to a question about workplace bullying. See the question and answer at
"...my name is Shirley Miles and I work at the overseas building operation. My question is
what would be your plans for addressing workplace bullying of women, an issue that I know you
would have zero tolerance for?"
"SECRETARY CLINTON: I do have zero tolerance for
it. (Applause.) You know, I have zero tolerance for any kind of bullying. I find it intolerable."
As of March,
2009, our grassroots movement has 26 States with citizen lobbyist coordinators
promoting the Healthy Workplace Bill to their state legislators! 11 States have active legislation
this year. Which state will lead the way in advancing human rights for all of us by correcting and preventing
Whistle-blowers get protection from California Supreme Court
State workers who suffer retaliation gain the right to sue for damages even if their cases lose before a civil
Whistle-blowers in state government received protection Thursday
from the California Supreme Court in a case in which a low-level employee reported that her superior had violated
a regulation she was supposed to enforce.
The state high court gave whistle-blowers who suffer retaliation the
right to sue for hefty damages in court even if they lose their case before a civil service board.
"The Legislature enacted the California Whistleblower Protection Act
to protect the right of state employees 'to report waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law or threat to public
health without fear of retribution,' " Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote for a unanimous court.
the act, the Legislature expressly found 'that public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest
without reservation in conducting the people's business.' "
The decision was a victory for Carole M. Arbuckle,
who worked for the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which regulates chiropractors.
received a telephone inquiry in 2001 about
the license of Dr. Sharon Ufberg, who was then chairwoman of the state board. Arbuckle discovered that Ufberg's license,
required for board members, had lapsed several months earlier.
Within 15 minutes of getting the report, Arbuckle
said, Ufberg called her and explained that she had forgotten to pay her license renewal
. Ufberg paid it later that day. But Arbuckle noted on an "information line"
in the computer database that Ufberg's license had been invalid from January until May 11, 2001.
During the next
several months, Arbuckle issued citations to other chiropractors who had practiced without a license. Fines ranged from
$100 to $5,000. Arbuckle said she asked the board's then-executive director several times whether she should cite Ufberg.
She was told to take no action, she said.
"In the wake of these events, Arbuckle confronted a stressful
work environment, including numerous indignities, disputes and acts of favoritism," the court said, reporting her allegations.
Arbuckle eventually was transferred to a different unit.
Arbuckle filed a retaliation complaint in 2002 with
the State Personnel Board, which oversees the state civil service
workforce. An investigator
recommended dismissing her complaint, saying she had not proved the job actions were a result of whistle-blowing.
Arbuckle then sued in Sacramento County Superior Court
An appeals court in Sacramento dismissed her suit, ruling that she had not pursued all administrative appeals. The appeals
decision also said state employees could pursue a lawsuit only if the state personnel board agreed with their claims.
Arbuckle and her then-superiors no longer work for the licensing board.
Brian Stiger, executive officer
of the board, said the governor appoints its members, who receive $100 for each meeting attended and travel expenses. Being
on the board carries "a lot of prestige," he said.
Bruce Monfross, acting chief counsel of the State
Personnel Board, said it handles about 55 whistle-blower cases a year out of a total caseload of 5,000.
whistle-blower claims fail, he said.
"Retaliation claims aren't the easiest cases in the world to prove,"
Ufberg, who is on sabbatical from a medical office in New York, could not be reached for firstname.lastname@example.org
Bullying makes joke of our legal system –
Bullybusters have long acknowledged
that serious, severe bullying can take place in a jury room where all deliberations occur behind closed doors.
Check out this story from Santa Ana, California
. An Orange County sheriff
’s corruption trial evolved into one juror’s complaint to the
judge and later to press that a fellow-juror was bullying his peers. The corrupt sheriff was acquitted last week of
conspiracy and four other counts and convicted only of witness tampering. According to the complaint, the bullying
juror slept through much of the trial.
If a juror wants a quick end to his assignment, bullying can be very effective.
If a defendant wants an acquittal, jury tampering
can be very effective, as bullies can be bought.
If a juror is willing and able to bully the other eleven jurors,
our judicial system
is a joke. http://www.sfgate.info/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/01/21/state/n155429S02.DTL
Judge reveals juror notes in ex-OC sheriff's trial
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 (01-21) 17:22 PST Santa Ana, CA (AP) --
A juror who served in the corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona said he
felt he might be threatened and that another panelist wanted to acquit in order to "party" with the defendant,
according to a note unsealed by the judge on Wednesday. Carona, 53, was acquitted
last week of conspiracy and four other counts and convicted only of witness tampering.
"There are certain persons who slept all through the presentations,
who have not written down a single word in their trial notes, but have suddenly 'come alive' and just want to acquit,"
juror No. 3 said in a Jan. 14 note. "Further on, there is a juror who wishes to acquit who, I believe, wants to party
with Carona and his women." "I think I may be threatened," the
note continued. "There are other jurors who feel the way I do."
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Guilford talked to the juror and ordered
him to return to deliberations after the man said he did not really feel threatened, defense attorney Brian Sun said. Another juror, Marcia Deatherage, told the Los Angeles Times that she also felt intimidated and
that most of the pressure came from a single juror.
"This guy very candidly stood up and said, 'I don't even know why the government even brought the case,'"
Deatherage said. "He felt Carona was not guilty of anything. It kind of set a tone for an upset in the jury room. He
was kind of a bully. ... Without him as a juror, I think we would have had more counts we would have found (Carona) guilty
Much of the trial focused
on allegations Carona took bribes from a millionaire who was made an assistant sheriff. Carona's wife and a former mistress
are awaiting trial on related charges. Some jurors told reporters after the trial
that they believed Carona was guilty but the statute of limitations had expired on most of the crimes.
Juror No. 3's allegations were "absolute nonsense,"
the jury foreman told the Orange County Register. "I never heard of anyone wanting
to party with Carona. No one wants to see Carona. He did a lot of bad things," said the foreman, who identified himself
only by his first name of Surj. Some panelists "nodded off" during proceedings
but they were careful during deliberations, he said.
No. 3 leaned toward convictions and was upset because others
seemed to be favoring acquittal on most counts, Surj said. The judge also unsealed
a note in which juror No. 9 asked to see him on an unspecified matter "about your jury, which I feel should be brought
to your attention."
Carona will be sentenced in April. The witness tampering conviction is punishable
by up to 20 years in prison but prosecutors say he probably will get only two or three years.
Contact: Workplace Bullying Institute (360) 656-6630 email@example.com
Rampant Workplace Bullying Ignored by Employers
a new Labor Day 2008 study conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), bullied workers report that employers predominantly
do nothing to stop the mistreatment when reported (53%). Employers actually retaliated against the person (in 71% of cases)
who dared to report it.
Four hundred (400) respondents completed an online Employer Response survey at
the WBI website, a self-selected sample. In 2007, WBI wrote, and Zogby International conducted, the first scientific U.S.
survey of workplace bullying.
With 7,740 respondents, the WBI-Zogby poll found that 37% of the workforce
directly experienced mistreatment characterized as either verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, humiliation or sabotage of
work. An additional 12% of adult Americans witnessed bullying at work. It was shown to be undeniably common.
to the 2008 WBI survey using the same definition, in 40% of cases, targets considered the employer's "investigation"
to be inadequate or unfair with less than 2% of investigations described as fair and safe for the bullied person. Filing
complaints led to retaliation by employers of bullied targets leading to lost jobs (24%). Alleged bullies were punished in
only 6.2% of cases. Bullying is done with impunity.
The online Co-Worker Response survey of 400 different
respondents found that coworkers were nearly as unhelpful as employers. In 46% of bullying cases, coworkers abandoned their
bullied colleagues, to the extent that 15% aggressed against the target along with the bully. Coworkers did nothing in 16%
of cases. They took positive steps 36% of the time -- limited to offering moral support. The rarest outcome (less than 1%)
was for coworkers to band together to stop the bullying through confrontation. Coworkers' personal fears were the preferred
explanation (55%) by bullied targets for the actions taken or not taken by witnesses."Despite recent major business
headlines (Wall Street Journal: Lawyers &
employers take fight to bullies ; Business Week: Employers
can't ignore workplace bullying), and the costs associated with bullying, it is obviously going to take the passage of anti-bullying
laws to get employers to take bullying seriously," speculates Gary Namie, WBI Director. The WBI-Legislative
Campaign is responsible for the introduction of the anit-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in 13 states since 2003. Coordinators
are active in 21 states and one Canadian province.
Results found at: http://bullyinginstitute.org/wbi2008.html
Friday, August 15, 2008
beware: Employees have more options — including court — to confront bad bosses
Boston Business Journal
- by Lisa van der Pool Boston Business Journal
To the chagrin of employees everywhere, it’s not illegal for bosses to be jerks. But a recent
jury decision to award a $325,000 judgment for assault to a hospital technician who was bullied by a supervising surgeon has
captured the attention of the legal community and called into question whether plaintiffs now have more ammunition going into
workplace bullying cases.
In the Indiana Supreme Court case in April, the plaintiff
testified that he was confronted by his supervising surgeon who threatened him with “clenched fists, piercing eyes ...
and popping veins,” according to press reports. The plaintiff’s expert in the case then described the confrontation
as “workplace bullying” and termed the surgeon a “workplace abuser,” although there is actually no
legal claim for workplace bullying.
“The ability to bring an assault claim is not surprising at all,”
said Joshua M. Davis, an employment lawyer at the law firm Goulston & Storrs PC
. “What’s interesting about the case is that the plaintiff tried to
offer evidence about workplace bullying.”
Because there is no workplace bullying legal claim, U.S. workers
have few legal methods to stop bullies who manage through intimidation, fear, and the occasional tossed chair, but some lawmakers
are calling for a change in Massachusetts law that would place more liability on the employer.
lawyers say that companies need to establish policies designed to discourage office bullies, who fuel lost productivity, costly
attrition and poisonous office cultures. The issue is especially urgent, according to some, because bullies tend to act out
more during economic downturns, as all workers face increased pressure to deliver results with fewer resources.
phenomenon of workplace bullying is widespread. About 37 percent of American workers, or about 54 million people, said that
they’ve been bullied at work in a 2007 online survey of 7,740 people last year from The Workplace Bullying Institute
in Bellingham, Wash. According to the survey, bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal forms of harassment such
as sex harassment or age discrimination. The survey also found that 72 percent of bullies are bosses and that women are targeted
by bullies more frequently.
Only 3 percent of bullied workers file lawsuits, according to the survey.
still at a point where a lot of companies don’t want to cover workplace bullying because it’s not required by
law,” said David Yamada, a professor of law at Suffolk University
and director of the New Workplace Institute
Yamada, who defines workplace bullying as “severe, repeated, malicious mistreatment of a worker
to the point where there is demonstrated physical and psychological harm,” has penned proposed legislation called “The
Healthy Workplace Bill” that would provide certain legal protections for workers who have been targeted by an office
bully, including compensation. The legislation would also impose liability on both the individual perpetrator and his or her
employer. Yamada is currently seeking a legislative sponsor for the bill.
“I think we need to fill in that
gap in the law,” said Yamada. “It’s a tough balancing act. You want to give
people who’ve been severely mistreated some legal right to claim compensation, but you don’t want to open the
floodgates to frivolous litigation.”
State Rep. Ellen Story, D-Amherst, is
the sponsor of “An Act Relative to Bullying in the Workplace,” a bill that has
been floating around the Legislature since 2005. The bill is dead for the year but her office
plans on re-introducing it into next year’s session. Story’s bill focuses on requiring companies to establish
anti-harassment policies, among other things.
Specific anti-bullying policies at companies are rare, but most businesses
have anti-harassment policies, according to Philip J. Gordon, an employee-side lawyer at Gordon Law Group LLP in Boston, who
has seen an uptick in calls about bullying recently.
“The problem with companies is not that they don’t
have good policies, it’s that they don’t follow them,” said Gordon. “Bullying isn’t good for
employee retention. Your culture stinks if you have a bully in the office and your employees won’t stay.”
human resources departments
should be ready to flag potential bullies and confront them about
their behavior, said Jay Hargis, author of the blog “HRCleanup” and a vice president at human
resources management firm Profiles International Inc.
Hargis, who calls office bullies “culture misfits,” says that bullying tends to get worse in times of stress.
“HR needs to be braver and really get in and address these kinds of problems quickly,” said Hargis.
employees being bullied are left with few options. When Davis gets calls about office bullies, he checks to see if there is
an underlying age, sex or race discrimination problem and then he evaluates whether the bully’s actions will create
a negative atmosphere that might lead to a lawsuit.
Recently Davis came across a situation where a supervisor routinely
called his employees at home, after hours, to complain about the quality of work they’d done during the day. One of
his female employees claimed that he was causing her emotional distress, but she was unable
to prove it in court.
“The danger of not taking action against people who mistreat employees is that it makes
the company look like they endorse that behavior,” said Davis.
Lisa van der Pool can be reached
of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.
Here is the complete list of all resolutions considered at the 2008 NAACP Annual Convention.Note: Some resolutions were abbreiveated or excerpted for brevity
The Resolution process begins with a local unit (or branch) who drafts
a proposed policy or resolution. That resolution must be approved by the general membership of that unit. The proposed resolution
is then brought before the State Conference for ratification. Once ratified by the State Conference at it's quarterly
meeting, the proposed resolution is then forwarded to the National Resolution committee where it is reviewed and prepared
for the annual resolution session.
Within the resolution session,
all registered voting delegates to the convention are able to stand up and speak to each proposed policy or initiative. After
debate, each is brought to a vote and if successful, it becomes binding NAACP policy.
1. NAACP Centennial Commemoration by Local, State, and National Governmental Authorities
Resolved: That all units
of the NAACP shall petition their local, state, and national elected and appointed officials to issue proclamations dated
February 12, 2009, honoring the NAACP and its work, and commemorating the NAACP's 100th anniversary.
2. Strengthening the African American Family
Resolved: That the NAACP in
coalition with the faith community and other grassroots organizations lead a public campaign highlighting the need for promoting
individual and collective community responsibilities along with public policies to assist African American families that alleviate
the impact of criminal activity, inadequate health care and insufficient educational support on the African American community.
And that the NAACP advocate through its units and promote activities that will strengthen and fortify the African American
3. Supporting continued
sovereignty and Federal recognition of the Shinnecock Tribal Nation and the Unkechaug Tribal Nation
Resolved: That the NAACP will continue
to support and advocate for all legitimate claims for Native American federal recognition in general, including the Shinnecock
and Unkechang Nations and the protections for Native American burial grounds.
4. Honoring John Roberts "JR" Clifford
Resolved: That civil Rights Pioneer John Roberts "JR"
Clifford will be honored along with others as the NAACP moves towards it centennial celebration
5. Promoting non-discriminatory adoption and usage of broadband Internet & information
That the NAACP shall object to any corporate or governmental policies that increase costs, impede deployment, discourage adoption
and usage, limit consumer access, reduce local commentary, or State oversight or that of public utilities commissions, public
hearings, or other forums for citizen input and reduce affordability of broadband technologies AND
that the NAACP will call upon its members to educate themselves and others on the importance of adoption and usage of broadband
6. Release of William Mayo
Resolved: That Local and State
units as well as the National office, will advocate for Federal Legislation that would provide for an automatic retrial when
testimony offer at a jury trial that leads to a conviction is later recanted AND that
NAACP units will assist the Cincinnati Branch as requested in calling for the release of Johnathan Mayo and Troy Davis from
their wrongful incarcerations.
That units of the NAACP will recommend and advocate to State and Local officials to reevaluate and restructure Jury selection
procedures to increase non-white representation in jury pools.
8. Abolition of Life Sentences for Juvenile defendants
Resolved: That NAACP Units should call upon their respective legislatures
to abolish life sentences for juvenile defendants
9. NAACP Opposes the transfer of Youth to the Adult Criminal Justice System
Resolved: That the NAACP will work to end the excessive practice
of youth being tried in the adult criminal justice system and to insure that young people are appropriately adjudicated in
ways that enhance community rehabilitation, safety and stability, AND that the NAACP shall
strongly oppose any policies, statutes, or laws that increase the number of youth transferred into the adult criminal justice
system or the number of youth held in adult prisons or jails.
10. Hangman's Nooses as a Hate Crime
Resolved: That the NAACP shall adopt a position of zero tolerance in opposing the conduct
of anyone who uses the hangman's noose to intimidate, threaten, or assault....
11. Privatizing and Outsourcing Manufacturing jobs in prisons is contributing to
that NAACP units will advocate before Local, State, and Federal policy making bodies to adopt regulations that will require
prisons and private contractors to pay a living wage, and that the money earned by prisoners shall be divided equally between
an amount paid to the prisoners during their incarceration, a victims assistance fund, child support payments, and a trust
fund to be made available to the prisoner upon release AND that units will advocate for
legislation requiring Companies that utilize and benefit from prison labor to offer the same or commensurate health care and
other benefits to inmates and their family members that said companies offer to their other employees.
12. Educational Improvements
Resolved: That the NAACP will reaffirm its efforts
to advocate for the increased collection of and transparency in accountability data so that the public and the school systems
become more aware of the race, origin, and class dimensions related to the allocation of various qualities of educational
services AND that the NAACP should enter into litigation against any governmental agencies
that refuse to provide proper educational opportunities.
13. Support of remedial Education for youth who are over the age of 18 and not in High School
Resolved: That NAACP units shall actively
advocate for the continued funding of programs designed to ensure that remedial educational opportunities are available for
persons over 18, who are lacking basic literacy and math skills.
Oppose Wal-mart and Other Retailers Unfair Labor Practices
Resolved: That the NAACP will challenge Wal-Mart and other retailers to overcome any
of their practices that are inconsistent with the highest standards of Labor and Civil Rights, to ensure equal opportunity
and equal pay for Women, people of color and other minorities, and work with local communities to effectively address Wal-Mart's
and other retailers negative impact on issues like the environment and local businesses, and establish a "Buy American"
program that annually increases the percentage of "Made in America" goods purchased by Wal-Mart and Other retailers
to help protect American Jobs.
15. Workplace Bullying
Resolved: That NAACP Units at all
levels will seek legislation at all appropriate levels to deem workplace bullying illegal.
16. An Act to Re-Affirm Resolutions previously adopted on Environmental Racism and
to further oppose the planning and location of Level 4 Bio-Safety Laboratories and Hazardous facilities designated for densely
That the NAACP Re-Affirms all previous policies on Environmental racism (1993, 1996, 2000, & 2001) and that NAACP State
and Local units should work with community organizations and citizens to prevent level 4 bio-safety laboratories and hazardous
facilities from being placed within densely populated areas and shall advocate for legislation to prohibit the same.
17. Health Disparities
Resolved: That the NAACP will identify at least one county in each
region where health disparities are most disproportionate among African Americans, poor people, and senior citizens and develop
an advocacy, educational, and legal strategy to improved selected element of the system that are responsible for the disparity
AND NAACP units at all levels will advocate to federal, state, and local governmental
agencies and partner with different organizations or health care systems to establish and maintain programs that will bring
information to teens, adults, ad families for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
18. The Impact of Autism
Resolved: The NAACP will lobby for increased Governmental spending for research on
the causes and cure of Autism.
19. The NAACP supports
efforts to further disaggregate Heathcare data by Race and Ethnicity
Resolved: That the NAACP supports efforts to ensure the accurate collection and reporting
of data by heath care providers, programs, and plans about patients and the care they receive; broken down by race and ethnicity.
20. Support for Public Housing Residents
Resolved: That the National Office of the NAACP
will encourage and support a Federal Policy that provides for "one for one" replacement of public housing units
that are razed or demolished AND that NAACP units at all levels should monitor and pursue
actions to ensure that the residents of Public Housing are afforded the full social, political, educational, and economic
opportunities available for all residents throughout the nation.
Bylaws change - Advisors for Youth & College Chapters (Article V, Sections 10b, 12a, 12e, and 13)
Resolved: That all Faculty advisors, High School
Chapter advisors, Youth Council advisors, and Junior Youth Council advisors shall serve as Ex-Officio members of their respective
chapter or councils without voting rights.
change - Disposition of records; Youth Units (Article VI, Section 3e, f, & g)
Resolved: Language added to the section which reads - All minutes
and other official records are the property of the Youth Unit and shall be promptly transferred to the newly elected and qualified officers within 30 days after the election. Non-compliance with terms herein shall be considered
conduct that is inimical to the best interests of the NAACP, meriting disciplinary action pursuant to Article X.
23. Bylaws change - Executive Committee in the Bylaws for Units
(Article VIII, Section 1b)
Language changed within the section - All references to Youth Councils replaced with references to Youth Units
24. Bylaws change - Youth Works committee (Article VIII, Section
changed within the section - All references to Youth Councils replaced with references to Youth Units
25. Representation of behavior Not in the best interest of the
That the NAACP shall codify guidelines to become an appendage of the constitution and bylaws to highlight the penalties for
infractions of the code of the NAACP
26. Peace Resolution
Resolved: that the NAACP actively engage
, using its NGO status in the pursuit for peace and stability in Darfur AND that the NAACP
request that the President of the United States advocate for peace and an end to the Human Rights abuses in China, Darfur,
27. Minority Business Participation in Government
that the NAACP call upon Congress, the SBA, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and all Federal Local ad State Agencies
to: 1) promote the use of MBE's in Federal, State, and Local contract and sub-contracts; 2) provide more oversight and
monitoring of contracts for compliance in using MBE and small disadvantaged businesses; 3) call for the enforcement of existing
laws and penalties on agencies and prime contractors that fail to comply; and 4) that the federal government be precluded
from suspending these requirements based upon exigent circumstances
28. Calling for the NAACP to begin mobilization efforts for Census 2010
Resolved: That each State/State Area conference designate a Census
2010 committee to assist units in their jurisdiction to ensure that information and resources are properly deployed AND that the NAACP will advocate to the US Congress and the US Department of Commerce Bureau
of the Census that for the purposes of the 2010 census, that all prisoners be enumerated as residents of the census tract
wherein they were domiciled at the time of their arrest and/or conviction
29. Supporting Legislation to create a Department of Peace and Non-Violence
Resolved: That the NAACP expresses its support
for the enactment of H.R.808, to create a United States Department of Peace and Non-Violence.
30. NAACP calls for passage of New Federal Legislation to Regulate International Vulture
Funds and prevent further Exploitation of poor and underdeveloped nations
-Point of Information- a Vulture fund is a financial organization that profits by buying up poor
country debt in default on the secondary market for pennies on the dollar, then attempting to charge up to ten times the purchase
price by suing the impoverished country in US or European courts.
Resolved: That the NAACP strongly supports forthcoming legislation and grassroots efforts
to limit vulture fund profits and decrease the incentive to purchase/litigate on sovereign debt and increase transparency
through mandatory filing in US/UK for purchases of foreign debt AND the NAACP strongly
supports forthcoming legislation and grassroots efforts that will establish an international bankruptcy framework, binding
on all creditors, which would force vultures to comply with debt cancellation and/or debt restructuring efforts.
31. NAACP Support for Present and Future Green jobs appropriations
That the NAACP shall advocate for the present and continued funding for the Green Jobs act and for the inclusion of African
Americans and other people of color's rightful place in the emerging new green energy sectors and sustainable economies.
32. NAACP Supports applying the decision by the US Sentencing
Commission to reduce Mandatory sentences for people convicted of Crack Cocaine possesion retroactively
Resolved: That the NAACP strongly supports
making the May 2007 amendment by the US Sentencing Commission retroactive to those currenttly incarcerated for Crack Cocaine
convictions AND that the NAACP reiterates its strong support for one-to-one sentencing
ranges for crack and powder cocaine sentences.
NAACP supports Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justce Delinquency and Prevention Act
Resolved: That the NAACP supports the updating of the JJDPA to decrease
over-reliance on detention, detention of statuts offenders, promote effective community-based alternatives to detention and
incarceration, and reduce racial disparities in the justive system.
34. NAACP supports a new look at the Federal Budget in FY 2009
Resolved: That the NAACP supports a shift in the current federal
budget away from defense and military spending and will continue to fight for increased federal support and funding for public
education, affordable housing, health care access and quality initiative, crime preventioin, job training and creation, small
business promotion, the protection of our basic civil rights and liberties, energy assistance, the protection of workers rights,
and continued assistance for those devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
35. NAACP calls for federal action to End the Home Foreclosure Crisis
Resolved: That the NAACP strongly supports strong anti-predatory
lending legislation that establishes higher standards for loan originators and provides stronger penalties and remedies for
lenders who break the law, as well as ensuring that any final federal product is the minimumm and that states be allowed to
continue to be more aggressive in eliminating predatory lending.
36. Support of Veterans Unity with the Community
Resolved: That the NAACP identify resources, services, and programs in the community
that will help assist and educate veterens with Health care, dental care, education, mental health and PTSD, enterprenueship,
employment, housing and homeownership, issues unique to female veterens, homeless veterans, formerly incarcerated veterens,
and information and access to VA benefits.
That the NAACP calls upon Congress to enact legislation to restructure the healthcare delivery system for active duty military
personnel, veterens, and their families, to gurantee access to existing VA facilities and private sector healthcare providers
for both physical and mental healthcare needs, including necessary medications.
38. NAACP supports Proposed Popular Vote initiative
Resolved: That the NAACP supports National "Popular Vote" legislation AND that the NAACP supports a Constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College.
39. Emergency Resolution - NAACP continues to suport laws to
prevent Gun violence and increase gun safety
of Information- Emergency Resolutions may be brought to the floor as written or approved by the President or Chair without
having gone through the normal resolution process
Resolved: That the NAACP continues to support safe, sane, and sensible gunn safety legislative initiatives
which would make it harder for people with questionable motives and or diminished mental capacity to obtain firearms, either
through legal or illegal means AND the NAACP supports an renewal of the assualt weapons
ban with a provision that makes it permenant.
Resolution - The NAACP continues to oppose the Dealth Penalty and supports the creation of a commission to investigate the
current disparities plaguing the Federal Death Penatly Sentencing Process
Resolved: That the NAACP supports teh communiting of Mr. Troy Anthony Davis' death
sentence in light of the new and compelling information regarding the crime of which he is accused AND
the NAACP reiterates its continuing opposition to the death penalty at the State and Federal level AND
the NAACP strongly supports legislation to be introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (WI) The National Commission on Capitol
Punishment Act of 2008
41. The NAACP supports
efforts to stop and reverse the dramatic increase in fuel prices; and supports long term, aggressive energy policy
Resolved: That the NAACP strongly supports
comprehensive public, private, domestic, and multi-national strategies to address the immediate problems being faced by Americans,
and disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and small business owners, most notably comercial truckers
as a result of higher fuel costs.
42. NAACP Condemns
the Islamaphobic, mean spirited, tasteless, and racially offensive July 21st 2008 New Yorker Magazine Cover
Resolved: That the NAACP decries the July
21st 2008 New Yorker magazine cover as tasteless, mean spirited, Islamaphobic, and racially offensive AND calls on every American who is similarly offended to contact the New Yorker magazine either by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at The
Mail, the New Yorker, 4 Times Square, New York NY 10036.
Bullies taking toll in workplace
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 Times Staff Writer email@example.com
must fight 'epidemic,' speaker says. There's a silent epidemic plaguing America, but it's one most people
don't think about.
"More than 37 percent of our work force is bullied," said Jennifer Starace, client
services manager for Business Resource Solutions. "That's 54 million people in our work force."
who labeled those numbers as an epidemic, spoke in Huntsville on Tuesday to the North Alabama chapter of the Society for Human
Resource Management. She talked about bullying
in the workplace, how to prevent it and its effects on a company's bottom line.
Starace said when someone
is bullied in the workplace, he or she does not want to work or even be at work, causing attendance and production to decline.
It also causes stress and tension in the victim, which can raise a company's health care costs. She said bullying also
can lead to higher legal costs as well as increased turnover.
"All of this affects a company's return
on investment," she said.
The Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash., said most workplace bullying
originates in childhood bullying.
"Childhood bullying and workplace bullying are extremely similar,"
Starace said. "It's not new, and it has serious consequences."
Starace said 60 percent of childhood
bullies are convicted of crimes by the age of 24, and 40 percent of those have been convicted more than once.
statistics, she said, show where the problem lies.
Take all childhood bullies, then deduct the 60 percent convicted
of crimes; that leaves 40 percent in the work force. Thirty-seven percent of the work force is bullied.
want to control, intimidate and humiliate others," she said. "Almost always, there's a bystander. You're
condoning it by not doing anything."
She said 72 percent of all workplace bullies are bosses and have executive
support. She encouraged businesses to take an active role in bully prevention.
Starace also noted a distinct difference
between bullying and harassment. Harassment is specifically targeted at a protected group, but bullying doesn't have to
be targeted toward anyone.
"But if people are bullying," she said, "it's only a matter of time
before it turns into harassment."
Starace said companies can coach, mentor, train and discipline to decrease
the number of workplace bullies. She also said executive support is a must as well as a bully-free policy.
will never fly without leadership from the top," she said. "It's never OK for you to act like a human is not
Employers Can't Ignore Workplace Bullies
A recent court ruling has
implications for business. Adopting an anti-bullying policy can improve morale and help avoid legal trouble
Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of a hospital employee who sued a surgeon for emotional
distress and assault based on his treatment of the person at work. The ruling drew national attention as an acknowledgment
by the courts of workplace bullying both as a phenomenon and as legal terminology, says Garry Mathiason, chair of the corporate
compliance practice group at labor and employment law firm Littler Mendelson. He spoke recently to Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein about the implications of the Indiana case for small business
owners. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.
In a survey of U.S. workers released last fall, nearly half said they had either been bullied at work or seen other employees bullied,
according to the Workplace Bullying Institute. What should entrepreneurs think of those numbers?
of bullying at work—54 million people have been bullied at some point, the institute estimates, based on the survey—combined
with the recent court decision should serve as a warning for small businesses nationally to develop proactive measures preventing
bullying at their companies.
What was the Indiana case about?
There was behavior claimed to
be intentional inflicting of emotional distress by a surgeon who apparently had a terrible temper. What was particularly interesting
about the case was that the jury instructions used the phrase "workplace bullying" and it was questioned whether
that term was too general. But the Supreme Court said the term had viability as a commonsense phrase for a jury.
may be a commonly understood phrase, but doesn't the definition of bullying behavior range all across the spectrum and
even from person to person?
That's what makes it so hard to draw the line. Basically, it's a form
of employee harassment that isn't necessarily tied to the immutable characteristics such as age, race, and sex that are
protected categories in employment discrimination law currently. About 25% of the workplace bullying that's complained
about falls under existing statutes. For the remainder, there's no specific channel or regulations that reach out to touch
But what is bullying to me might not be bullying to you. A manager may have to tell you something that hurts your
feelings to help you do your job. If your boss screams at you for being late, for instance, you might think that's horrible.
A month later you might get a bad performance review, and a month after that you're dismissed. Now, can you go to a lawyer
and claim a bully for a boss? If so, every discharged employee theoretically could make that claim, and a lot of unnecessary
litigation could result. If you get a jury evaluating uncivil workplace behavior and the jurors dislike the manager—as
they are likely to—there's tremendous potential for inconsistent verdicts and other problems.
implications does the Indiana ruling have for small-business owners nationwide?
It suggests that there could
be a trend of these kinds of decisions and small business should adopt a policy on proper conduct in the workplace. Model
policies are available online and even very small employers would benefit from adopting one.
Even if it doesn't
become a legal challenge, isn't bullying at the workplace a negative thing?
Of course it is. It increases
employee turnover, it causes a loss of productivity, and it can give a company a bad reputation. Nobody wants to work for
an abusive boss.
How does an entrepreneur determine what's truly bullying behavior and what is not?
Most commonly, bullying consists of repeated verbal harassment. If it becomes physical there are existing legal tools
to deal with it, such as assault and battery. Bullying behavior typically comes from somebody in a position of authority at
a company. A bully can be a co-worker, but it's more commonly associated with a boss and particularly with an immediate
boss, as opposed to someone running the company.
How should entrepreneurs deal with bullies in their firms?
They should establish firmly that this kind of conduct is not condoned. Then administer that policy on a complaint
basis. What you absolutely cannot do is leave the situation alone and hope it gets better. You have a responsibility as an
employer to intervene. Apart from the legal exposure involved, you have a threat to your productivity and your turnover rates.
We recommend that the business owner counsel or get counseling for the individual who has been complained about. Let
the person know that this kind of behavior is not supported and won't be tolerated in the workplace. He should be able
to determine whether this behavior is so much a part of his personality that the counseling is not going to work. If positive
coaching doesn't work, the business owner will have to build a basis for ending the working relationship.
some bullied employees just quit rather than risk whining about their bosses?
Yes, but they might feel differently
if there were a business policy already established at the company. It's common for companies to do periodic harassment
training. That session could easily include a little section on rude behavior. Emphasize that treating all employees with
respect is the way to make the company productive. Your business reputation will only be enhanced by having an anti-bullying
policy that shows you really care about your people and want them treated with respect.
The most effective
way to deal with this, it seems, would be to avoid hiring a bully in the first place. Is that possible?
definitely smart to try to screen out people who are abusive, but it's not easy to get that information. And a lot of
times people behave differently when they are talking to the CEO from the way they do when they are talking to their employees.
Karen E. Klein is a business journalist who covers small-business issues for several national publications. She writes her Smart Answers
column twice a week.
More than 50 percent of U.S. nurses face bullying in the workplace,
according to a March survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The study found that 90
percent of health care workers have witnessed abusive behavior against nurses, UPI reported March 24.
the No. 1 hospital bullies, followed by other nurses, according to the study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic
and Neonatal Nursing. Patient satisfaction and care suffers as a result of disruptive behaviors, according to 75 percent of
workers surveyed. The retention of qualified nurses is also affected and the emotional stress from verbal abuse hinders their
ability to do their jobs.
Shanelle Matthews is Women's eNews editorial intern and a recent graduate of the Manship
School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University.
Women's eNews welcomes your comments.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org._______________________
Allentown, PA 3/29/08
When the Bully Sits in the Next Cubicle
By Tara Parker-PopeNew York Times
2008 Watch the NY Times video
of Emelise Aleandri (former target and winner of a $1.4 million settlement against CUNY and Tom Witt, NY State Coordinator,
WBI-Legislative Campaign and the New York Healthy Workplace Advocates (NYHWA)
Then select My Boss Was A Bully
An eye roll, a glare, a dismissive snort — these are the tactics of the workplace bully. They don’t sound
like much, but that’s why they are so insidious. How do you complain to human resources that your boss is picking on
you? Who cares that a co-worker won’t return your phone calls?
Bullying in the workplace is surprisingly common.
In a survey released last fall, 37 percent of American workers said they had experienced bullying on the job, according to the research firm Zogby International.
Unlike the playground bully, who often resorts to physical threats, the work bully sets out on a course of constant
but subtle harassment. It may start with a belittling comment at a staff meeting. Later it becomes gossip to co-workers and
forgetting to invite someone to an important work event. If the bully is a supervisor, victims may be stripped of critical
duties, then accused of not doing their job, says Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group
based in Bellingham, Wash.
This month, researchers at the University of Manitoba reported that the emotional toll of
workplace bullying is more severe than that of sexual harassment. And in today’s corporate culture, supervisors may
condone bullying as part of a tough management style.
But the tide may be turning, thanks in part to a best-selling
book by Robert I. Sutton, a management professor and co-director of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization at Stanford.
Among other things, the book argues that workplace bullies are bad for business, because they lead to absenteeism and turnover.
New York State Legislature is considering an antibullying bill, and in several other states, including New Jersey and Connecticut,
lawmakers have introduced such measures — without success so far. A measure was withdrawn in Connecticut last week after
business groups opposed it, although the bill is expected to be resubmitted.
Business groups often argue that existing
laws are adequate to protect workers. But bullying generally does not involve race, age or sex, which have protected status
in the courts. Instead, most workplace hostility occurs just because someone doesn’t like someone else.
of these situations fall between the cracks of existing state and federal employment law,” said David C. Yamada, a professor
at the Suffolk University Law School in Boston, who has drafted antibullying legislation. “There is a real gap in the
law that someone could be tormented and subjected to humiliation and really be suffering because of it, but the courts are
saying it’s not severe enough for us to allow the lawsuit to go forward.”
The antibullying bills are often referred to as “healthy workplace” legislation. The name is more palatable to businesses, but they also acknowledge the serious health toll bullying can have. Some victims
become physically ill from the stress, with depression, anxiety and even symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Surveys also suggest that victims of office bullies call in sick more often — although it’s not clear whether
they really are sick or just avoiding the abusive environment at work.
A surprising number of bullying cases involve
health care settings, where the problem is said to be endemic, with senior hospital workers, particularly doctors and supervisors,
harassing nurses and technicians. The problem is also common in academia and the legal profession, experts say.
share of the problem involves women victimizing women. The Zogby survey showed that 40 percent of workplace bullies are women.
month, more than 300 readers of the Well blog posted their own stories of workplace bullies. One reader shared a story of
an assistant manager who became angry with an employee. Despite his high technical skills, she cut off all contact with him.
“She gave this employee totally inappropriate assignments, setting him up to fail, and then punished him when
he could not complete the assignments,” said the reader, who asked not to be named. “She eventually did not invite
this employee to the Christmas party.” The worker finally quit.
Still, it can be hard to distinguish between normal
personality disputes and the incessant torture of workplace bullying.
Researchers at the State University of New York
in New Paltz have developed a survey aimed at identifying the full range of behaviors that can constitute bullying. (For a
list, go to www.nytimes.com/well.) Some of the behaviors — glaring, failing to return calls, not praising a worker — may seem trivial, but they
take a toll when repeated over and over again.
“Imagine yourself sitting at a conference table and you offer something
as a suggestion and someone looks at you and shakes their head every time,” said Joel H. Neuman, director of the center for applied management at the SUNY-New Paltz School of Business.
“It can be damaging
to be constantly dismissed in front of your peers,” Dr. Neuman said. “The thing that is upsetting about it is
that people come to expect it and say, ‘Well, this is what it’s like around here.’ It shouldn’t be
part of the culture, but often it is.”
Bullying Goes Too Far
Bullying at Work Puts Employees in Mental Jeopardy
New research suggests bullying at work can have big implications for
mental health. (PhotoDisc)
"Healthy Workplace Bill" would protect employees who feel the bite of a tormenting boss
Special to The Seattle Times
she says, like in real life.
Cary Stidham says the same boss called
him "stupid" in front of others, and degraded him in meetings with clients. He saw her throw phones, and kick walls
and file cabinets.
They're talking about Louise Long, director of
the Seattle Marathon Association. While her organization is under scrutiny for its finances and her possible conflicts of
interest, what's come to light is a problem familiar in lots of workplaces: Long — hardcharging, intense and, some
would argue, successful — was seen by some as an office bully.
recently visible, she's hardly alone. Abrasive bosses haunt the corridors of power (former United Nations Ambassador John
Bolton browbeat subordinates), the basketball court (Bobby Knight was famous for throwing chairs to express his displeasure),
or the smallest office.
More than one-third of workers — 54 million
Americans — say they have experienced workplace bullying, according to a 2007 Zogby International poll commissioned
by the Workplace Bullying Institute.
A workplace bully may shout, swear,
call employees names, intimidate, humiliate, tarnish reputations, sabotage and destroy workplace relationships. And unless
the victim is part of a protected class (defined by gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion or disability) or covered by an
employment contract, such behavior is legal.
"There is no law that
says you can't be a bully," says Chris Young, an employment attorney with Peterson, Young, Putra, Fletcher in Seattle.
Psychologists Gary and Ruth Namie, founders of the Bellingham-based Workplace Bullying
Institute, want harassed workers to have better options. They're pushing the "Healthy Workplace Bill," sponsored
by Rep. Kelli Linville (D-Bellingham), which would give employees the right to sue their employer if their health or economic
livelihood is harmed by an abusive workplace.
While the bill doesn't
use the term "bully," Gary Namie defines it as "repeated nonphysical, health-impairing psychological mistreatment
that falls outside discriminatory harassment."
According to the Zogby poll, 44 percent of the time employers react to reports of
bullying by doing nothing.
"Employers are not motivated to stop
bullies because there is no law, no consequence," Namie says. "They write it off as someone's 'management
style.' And there are benefits; companies think the bullies get results, think they are indispensable."
Workplace bullying takes a toll, on employees and on business. Health studies show
that work-related stress can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, strokes, heart attacks, chronic fatigue and
economic devastation from being fired or forced to leave.
from the front
Jaymie Lennon, 28, remembers crying every day
during the four months she worked for the Seattle Marathon Association. One time, Lennon was at the hospital, literally sick
"She kept calling," Lennon says of Louise Long.
"She would say, 'I don't care if you're sick. You need to get back here.' " One day Lennon went
to lunch and never returned to the office.
Cary Stidham, now 29, quit
the Marathon Association soon after Lennon did, at the end of 2006. After being denied unemployment benefits, he appealed
and described to a judge why he quit: the yelling and screaming; how Long called him "stupid"; how, in a meeting
with a client, she laced comments about Stidham with profanities; how she rolled her eyes when he told her she shouldn't
speak to him like that. The judge ruled in Stidham's favor.
didn't want to be a whistle-blower," Stidham says. "[But] I have literally never met anyone who treated people
Long acknowledges that her management style has been
abrasive, but she says that the months just before and after the marathon are stressful.
"When you're working on an event, the staff has to be willing to keep up with that kind of pace," she
Long won't talk about claims that she threw things or swore
at employees; she does say that about a year ago her board of directors gave her a set of "management expectations"
to work on. She says she has made changes.
"It's pretty calm
around here now," she says. "Anyone would be happy to work here."
The bottom line
A bullying boss is bad for business,
experts say. Talented people leave, companies get a bad reputation, morale plummets. And there is a cost to the company in
absenteeism, lack of productivity and high turnover.
Nowhere is it written
that a boss can't be petty or mean — except in England, Norway, France and Sweden, whose health-and-safety laws
include protection against bullies.
Four other states will consider
a version of Namie's Healthy Workplace Bill this year. In all, he has pitched it to 13 states, but none has adopted it.
An anti-bullying bill proposed in Washington's last legislative session never made it out of committee.
"We have animal cruelty laws," Namie says, "but we don't have human cruelty
Rebecca Morris has been a broadcast and print journalist
for 34 years. She teaches journalism at Bellevue Community College.
© 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Project for Wellness and Work-Life,
Arizona State University, www.asu.edu/clas/communication/about/wellness
Washington Employment Lawyers Association, www.welaweb.org__________________________________________________
No Putting Up with Put Downs
Ban The Bully
2003, legislation to control the problem of workplace bullying has been introduced in a dozen states. But can legislating
workplace behavior really solve the problem?
By Michael Felton-O'Brien
Growing up with a younger sibling who suffered from severe physical disabilities,
Sherrill Gilbert often stood up to schoolyard bullies on her sister's behalf. But when it came time to confront the bullies
who inhabited the hospital where she worked, she says, she found herself in the fight of her life. "What happened to
me was horrendous," she says. "It went way beyond the norm."
Gilbert, who worked for a decade as
an emergency-room secretary at a 1,100-employee hospital that she declines to name, claims she began to experience bullying
when a new nurse manager came on board, bringing a gruff, militaristic demeanor along with her. "She immediately began
promoting the most aggressive staff members into management positions," says Gilbert.
According to her, she
constantly feared receiving yet another tap on the shoulder and being told to "march" herself into a room where
she would be yelled at in front of other managers for infractions she insists she did not commit, including failure to provide
phone coverage and paperwork errors. At times, supervisors would even physically block her from sitting down at her desk,
says Gilbert, especially when she carried armloads of paperwork.
Even after she complained to the hospital's
HR department, Gilbert says, nothing was done -- in fact, disciplinary letters were placed in her file and her manager's
treatment of her only worsened. She began accusing Gilbert of poor performance despite her otherwise clean track record.
When she took her complaints to the hospital's board, Gilbert says, she was switched from full-time status to
per diem, and eventually the calls to work just stopped coming.
Gilbert says she was so deeply traumatized by
the experience that she was treated for depression and colitis.
"When this happens to you, it impacts every
aspect of your life," she says. "It doesn't stop at just being a workplace issue, because when [bullies] get
done with you, it is a lifelong issue." Gilbert is now taking her fight to the Vermont legislature, where she is the
state coordinator for the passage of anti-bullying legislation intended to prevent others from going through what she had
A recent survey of American workers by Zogby International and the Bellingham, Wash.-based Workplace Bullying
Institute, entitled the U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, found that an estimated 54
million American workers (or approximately 37 percent of the population) said they have experienced workplace bullying. And
some are fighting back.
Advocates of so-called "Healthy Workplace" initiatives have introduced legislation
in 13 U.S. states since 2003 -- California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Oregon, Connecticut, Montana,
Washington, Vermont, New York and New Jersey -- to address the issue and provide relief for employees who find themselves
on the wrong end of a bully.
Despite this momentum, experts say HR leaders shouldn't wait for their state's
legislature to address the issue. By creating their own anti-bullying policies now, HR departments can prevent workers such
as Gilbert from being harmed in the future as well as avoid lengthy legal battles like the one currently being waged in Indiana.
In that case, involving heart surgeon Dr. Daniel H. Raess and perfusionist Joseph E. Doescher, Doescher claimed
he was the victim of intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault by Raess during a 2001 incident at the hospital
when Raess allegedly screamed and lunged at Doescher, telling him his career at the hospital was "finished." Raess
also allegedly told Doescher he could not take time off to visit his uncle, who was dying in New Orleans.
abuse caused Doescher to suffer severe depression and forced him to leave his $100,000-per-year job, his suit alleges. A jury
returned a verdict in favor of Doescher on the assault claim and awarded damages of $325,000, but the Indiana Court of Appeals
reversed the decision and called for a new trial, holding that, among other problems, a witness should not have been allowed
to label Raess a "workplace bully."
The matter is now being considered by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute and the
prime force behind the bills and the Web site www.workplacebullyinglaw.org, workplace bullying is defined as "repeated,
health-harming mistreatment" of a person by a perpetrator that takes on one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse;
threatening, humiliating or offensive behavior and actions; and work interference or sabotage that prevents work from getting
According to researchers associated with Arizona State University's Project for Wellness and Work-Life,
workplace bullying is most often "a combination of tactics in which numerous types of hostile communication and behavior
are used." Behaviors can range from someone being rude or belligerent to someone screaming or cursing and can include
the destruction of property, social ostracism and physical assault.
Namie notes that bullying typically manifests
itself in a situation where something new, such as a new employee or a new system, is added to a once-stable situation. "Reorganizations
are a perfect opportunity for bullies to thrive," he adds.
Anti-bullying legislation would be similar to
federal discrimination and harassment laws, but unlike those laws, it would extend protection to all employees, regardless
of race, age or gender. Workers would have to be able to prove that their health was damaged as a result of the treatment
in order to prevail.
With the passage of such legislation, it would become unlawful for organizations to allow
an employee "to be subjected to another employee whose malicious conduct sabotages or undermines the targeted person's
work performance," according to an overview of the bill provided by WBI. The bill also punishes retaliation by the company
against the complainant or anyone who helps the complainant.
The legislation does not call for the creation of
any new state agencies, and those who wished to pursue a legal remedy would need to initiate a suit against the alleged bully
at their own cost.
"The market itself will suppress the amount of complaints filed," says Namie. "The
power of our law is not going to be in the 'tortification' of the issue, because those suits will present a huge financial
burden to individuals who wish to pursue them. The real power of the bill is that it will 'incentivize' employers
to prevent and correct this on their own. We want to expedite the voluntary participation of employers in the process of stopping
Individuals may accept workers' compensation benefits in lieu of bringing action under this
bill. In other words, if an employer allows a worker to file a workers' compensation claim as a result of proven physical,
emotional or psychological distress from bullying, then the employee agrees not sue.
Namie says the legislation
is necessary to limit workplace harassment because companies are reluctant to deal with the troubling issue on their own.
"If you wait on American employers to do anything voluntarily in the employee-protection arena, you'll
be waiting a long time," he says. "This [bullying] phenomenon is shrouded in shame, and even the companies that
are doing something about it are ashamed to say anything about it."
Even the victims of such abuse are often
reluctant to step forward and tell their stories, says Namie. "It's hard to mobilize people who have been emotionally
wounded by this," he says. "We're never going to get them to march in the streets, but [their experiences] can
make for very compelling testimony."
Namie and Gilbert are far from alone in calling for reforms. The San
Francisco-based Employment Law Alliance recently conducted a poll that revealed 64 percent of 1,000 American adu
lts surveyed favored "specific legal recourse for the victims" of bullying. One of the reasons Gilbert thinks
a law is necessary is because she feels the hospital's HR department did not stand up for her. "HR failed me,"
she says. "They failed to follow their own policies. If a complaint came to them, instead of . . . doing an unbiased
investigation, their solution was to attack the person [by placing disciplinary letters in the files of people] who complained
because they saw them as the problem . . . . I felt like I was living in a Third World country, where if you spoke out, you
Gilbert considered filing a lawsuit against the hospital after her situation was not rectified,
but says she could not find a lawyer to take her case. She says she called "every lawyer in Burlington" and was
turned down by them all. "Nobody will touch it," she says, adding that the lawyers she contacted told her that even
if she won a monetary award, it would be a pittance compared to the court costs she would incur.
CEO of the Employment Law Alliance and a partner at Curiale, Dellaverson, Hirschfield and Kraemer in San Francisco, is not
surprised at lawyers' reluctance in taking on bullying cases in court. However, according to him, if the proposed legislation
does become law, it will make it more likely that lawyers will take up such cases.
"There's very little
incentive for lawyers to take these cases now," he says. "That will change if states start implementing statutory
claims, where lawyers' fees are paid by the losing party instead of out of the settlement received by a common-law winner's
claim. Because of the lack of legislation on the books, all you're left with is a common-law claim for intentional infliction
of emotional distress and it's extremely difficult to prove. And you're leaving it up to a judge and jury to figure
out what that's worth."
Fight or Flight
The Zogby poll also found that 40
percent of the respondents said bullying resulted in their leaving their jobs, which translates to roughly 21 million American
workers. In addition to adversely affecting a company's employee-retention rate, workplace bullies can also undermine
productivity and safety, says Gilbert.
"The unfortunate part is that [hospitals that allow bullying] are
putting at risk not only the employees, but patients as well," she says. "When you have a hostile work environment,
and you have people whose primary concern is to watch their own backs, that's when mistakes happen."
company that has taken the bull(y) by the horns is Los Angeles-based Goodwill Industries of Southern California, which employs
1,600 employees in a variety of industries, including electronics recycling, light packaging and assembly work, as well as
its well-known retail thrift stores. When president and CEO Doug Barr heard reports of "full-fledged bullying" by
some employees within the organization in 2003, he knew something had to be done.
"I would hear from HR as
well as people pulling me aside to report situations where staff would be shouted at in front of their peers, including job
threats and sarcastic comments in front of [other employees]," he says. To change what he calls an "atmosphere of
fear in terms of management," Barr and HR Director Jennifer Oropeza-Flores asked their training manager, Sue Gutierrez,
to find an expert to help them overcome the culture of bullying.
She contacted Namie's organization and began
work on a policy that was rolled out in March 2004. Goodwill's anti-bullying policy is an extension of the organization's
four stated values of respect, integrity, service and excellence.
"It really has a lot to do with the 'respect'
value," says Oropeza-Flores. "We believe people can be held accountable for performance goals without [the supervisor]
being a bully." Goodwill's program includes a training session for managers and supervisors conducted by Namie, and
mandatory orientation sessions for new employees on identifying and dealing with bullies conducted by Gutierrez.
A brochure is also mailed to all employees quarterly that explains how to identify a workplace bully, and includes the phone
number for an anonymous tip line that employees can call to report a bully to HR. Periodic reminders are also attached to
paychecks reminding employees of the company's policy on bullying and how to address it.
A new e-learning
course on bullying prevention for managers and supervisors has also been rolled out.
Barr says the new policy
quickly attracted the attention of Goodwill employees, due in large part to the subsequent resignations or terminations of
four "higher-level" managers within the organization, including one store manager, who had been identified by employees
and HR as bullies.
"That sent a message that we were really taking it seriously," says Barr. "This
policy really has teeth."
Oropeza-Flores says there was some initial concern among administrative leaders
that the new policy might have a negative impact on business margins. "They thought . . . 'If you don't give
people latitude to be tough, then the work won't get done,' " she says. But she sees it differently. "We
have not experienced a decline in our margins, because we've raised our expectations of how our managers treat people.
It's part of a cultural change here."
Chances of Success
Despite the work
of Namie, Gilbert and countless others, the fate of anti-bullying legislation in the states where it has been introduced remains
uncertain at best. Of the 13 states where the legislation has been introduced, none has been passed into law and the proposed
legislation is still active in only four states.
"I don't know if I'll see any of these laws passed
in my lifetime," Namie says.
The ELA's Hirschfield says he thinks it's too early to speculate on
the chances of the bills' ultimate success. "I think because the bullying cases have been getting press, there's
a certain sensitivity to the issue. But [there's] also a hesitation towards opening up a new avenue for costly litigation,"
He thinks the bills haven't had much success in getting passed to this point because "as a society,
we realize the cost of employment litigation in terms of attorney fees and the time and resources spent defending these cases,
both frivolous and meaningful."
"Even those people who believe this is a real problem are reluctant
to enter into a whole new avenue of legal claims and regulations surrounding the workplace," he says. "In many cases,
people are hopeful that there's a way to address the situation short of legislation."
As for Gilbert,
she remains committed to the fight against bullying. She says she is speaking up now in order to protect her children from
such abuse in the future. "If I can help get this bill through, I will feel like I have been able to make a contribution
to lots of people. I don't want my kids to ever, ever have their lives destroyed because some bully feels like he or she
is entitled to do it."
January 1, 2008
Copyright 2008© LRP Publications
August 31, 2007
Just in time for Labor
Day, the Workplace Bullying Institute (bullyinginstitute.org) released results of a Zogby Poll that was conducted to find out how
prevalent workplace bullying really is.
To date, 13 states have introduced legislation to "prevent and correct workplace bullying" by requiring
employers to put policies and procedures in place similar to what are currently required to address sexual harrassment in the workplace.
Many mistakenly believe workplace bullying is already against
the law. Status blind bullying is presently legal. Unless one can prove they are in a protected class, covered by the
1964 Civil Rights Act (race, religion, etc.), they are NOT protected from systematic harrassment in the workplace.
Workers are beginning to unite and speak out about this vicious behavior, often perpetuated by management,
and in some cases, actually promoted as a management style by employers who mistakenly believe this behavior will help
produce more profits.
Read the Zogby Poll Results Here
these links for some new articles
Published: August 22, 2007
Nami: Bullying is silent epidemic
in the series on this worldwide problem
By Gina Burgess
Behavior that offends or harms someone is a broad definition of workplace bullying. Mary tells Sandra that Betty is
sleeping with the boss, when in fact the rumor isn’t true. Spreading gossip or rumors is one type of indirect bullying.
When a vicious rumor is spread with the intent to get a person fired, that is defined as an intent to harm, but few would
call that a criminal act worthy of jail time. According to Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, workplace bullying is
“the repeated mistreatment of one employee targeted by one or more employees with a malicious mix of humiliation, intimidation
and sabotage of performance.”
Court cases involving disability, ethnic and gender discrimination, and sexual
harassment have had such reasonable success as to cause laws to be enacted to make them criminal acts if proven. However,
statistics show that bullying happens more often that verbal abuse or sexual harassment, although, when examined closely,
those things are forms of bullying. It also is three times as prevalent as illegal discrimination and 1,600 times as prevalent
as violence at work. Those same studies show one in 10,000 employees are victims of violence in the workplace, but, in this
country, one in six employees are victims of bullying at work. A British study shows one in three employees suffer workplace
The problems revealed in these studies are that bullying usually takes place within company policy guidelines
and between the lines of legal activity according to a report by Gary Nami of Workplace Bullying Institute, and by Tim Field
of Bully Online.org. That kind of bullying seems trivial when each incident stands alone and out of context, and the problem
is there is rarely grounds for dismissal or disciplinary action.
Field was in computer systems support and development.
when he was bullied out of his job when he was a customer services manager in 1994, and was the first to identify the sociopathic
serial bully in the workplace. “Most organizations have a serial bully. It never ceases to amaze me how one person’s
divisive, disordered, dysfunctional behavior can permeate the entire organization like a cancer,” said Field. “I
estimate one person in thirty is a serial bully.”
On his website located at www.bullyonline.org, Field describes
in depth the serial bully characteristics. Some of those include,
- convincing, practiced liar who will make up
anything to fit the moment, excelling in deception
- can be vile and vicious in private but innocent and charming
- has plenty of glib, fine words, but no substance; mostly superficial
- pours out what people
want to hear
- cannot be trusted, fails to fulfill commitments
- refuses to be specific and does not
give straight answers
- adept at creating conflict, thrives on conflict
- quick to belittle, undermine,
and discredit anyone who calls the bully to account
- knows-it-all, arrogant and haughty
dead while professing some religious belief or affiliation
- mean, and petty, stingy and financially untrustworthy
- greedy, selfish and an emotional vampire
- convinced of their own superiority and qualities of leadership
but exhibits qualities exactly opposite of leadership including immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression, manipulation, distrust
Field goes on to say that the serial bully in the workplace is “more likely to know what
they are doing but elects to switch off the moral and ethical considerations by which normal people (live by).
you are the victim of bullying, the first thing to combat it is to recognize it for what it is, says Gary Nami founder of
the Workplace Bullying Institute.org, too often a bullied person will fall into the trap of believing what the bully is saying
Field says there is usually a grain of truth in the bully’s attack which seems to give it credibility.
After recognizing the bully, you must understand what is going on. It is not about you, it is all about control. Criticisms
and allegations are a projection of the bully’s failings. The bully is trying to project guilt, shame, and fear which
are known tactics of control. It is how all abusers—sex abusers, child abusers, verbal abusers, etc.—gain control
over their victims and silence them.
The next step, Field advises, is to find out everything about bullying. There
are a plethora of websites and books about the subject. Naivety about the bully and the tactics is your greatest enemy, not
the bully himself.
Only after you arm yourself can you then take action. Document, document, document, says both
Nami and Field. Keeping a log or journal about each incident will build the case. Incidents alone can be explained away. But,
Field says, the pattern is what is important because it reveals intent.
Keep copies of important documentation
in a safe place not at work, because it can and will be stolen, and possibly used against you. Carry a note pad and pen at
all times, recording what the bully says and does. Make sure you take minutes of all meetings. The bully is expert at deception
and can twist what you say into the appearance of damaging evidence. You will be accused of unprofessionalism and a few other
things when you do this. Expect it, and don’t let it deter you from your mission.
The bully thrives on playing
people against each other. Expect the bully’s boss to disbelieve you and to deny the truth of the evidence you’ve
gathered, because it is highly likely the bully has already enlisted support in getting rid of you, Field notes. This is why
it is crucial, he says, to be professional and not emotional when presenting your case.
Nami calls it the silent
epidemic. He conducted an online survey with a question about employer’s responses when informed about the workplace
“...In light of extant internal anti-harassment and anti-violence policies the response of employers
is puzzling. Respondents described the lack of support. Targets who reported the abusive misconduct to the bully’s manager
and asked for relief elicited positive, helpful responses in only 18 percent of cases. In 42 percent of incidents, the boss
actually compounded the problem; in 40 percent of cases, the boss did nothing which is not a neutral response after specific
help was requested. Human Resources and anti-discrimination officers were similarly unhelpful with only 17 percent taking
positive steps to stop the bullying,” according to his report.
Pointing out to the bully’s superior
that what you’ve presented is merely the tip of the iceberg of wrongdoing by the bully, and there is most likely financial
misappropriation and incompetence, breaches of regulations, health and safety, codes of practice and the like may provoke
Build yourself a network of support because bullies love to isolate and attack. Expect your co-workers
to melt away for differing reasons, most will disassociate themselves because they fear for their job, others just do not
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Workplace Bullying 50 Percent Higher In US Than Scandinavia
Science Daily —
New research to be published in the Journal of Management Studies reveals that employees in the US are bullied
up to 50% more often than workers in Scandinavia. However, just 9% of employees were aware that the negative acts they experienced
constituted bullying, suggesting that bullying behaviour is ingrained in the culture of the US workplace.
The study, led by Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, is also one of the first to investigate
the impact of bullying on non-bullied employees, and finds that the negative effects are widespread: employees who witness
others being bullied suffer secondary harm, reporting high levels of stress, and low levels of work satisfaction.
explains why this study is so significant: "Workers suffering on the job and thinking they're 'going crazy'
learn that the phenomenon has a name, what it looks like, that it happens to many workers, and potentially, what they might
do about it."
The study concludes that US organizational and cultural structures frequently enable, trigger,
and reward bullying. U.S. companies stress market processes, individualism, and the importance of managers over workers, which
discourages collaborative efforts and enables powerful organizational members to bully others without recrimination.
Floyd, an editor at JMS says "This paper helps to surface a problem that plagues far too many employees and that too
few people are willing to speak openly about..."
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release
issued by Blackwell Publishing Ltd..
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Sunday, January 21, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle
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Bullying bosses could be busted
Movement against worst workplace abusers gains momentum with proposed laws
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Americans love bully bosses, to judge by popular culture. Tyrants such as Machiavellian Miranda
in "The Devil Wears Prada," clueless Michael in "The Office" and vicious Simon on "American Idol"
elicit guffaws, gasps of recognition and relief that they're picking on someone else.
But, in real life, people who've been bullied at their jobs say it is no laughing
matter. Continuing harassment in the pressure-cooker environment of the workplace can have serious professional consequences
and cause a range of physical and psychological health problems for victims, according to a range of studies.
Workplace bullying involves repeated verbal abuse, aggressive behavior,
sabotage, humiliation or intimidation. It's so commonplace that 1 in 6 Americans reports having been bullied at work,
according to a study by Michigan's Wayne State University. In some studies,
almost half of workers say they were bullied at one point in their career.
"It's a silent epidemic," said Gary Namie, a social psychologist and founder of the
Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute in Bellingham, Wash.
Now a movement to curb workplace bullying is gathering steam, with grassroots groups
forming across the country and legislation introduced in 11 states during the past four years, although no anti-bullying bills
have yet passed in any of them.
laws would not outlaw workplace bullying but would ask employers to correct and prevent abuses, and give victims the right
to sue for limited damages. Currently, victims of bullying don't have legal recourse, unless they can prove the abuse
was related to a "protected status," such as race or gender.
Anti-bullying advocates liken their crusade to those against schoolyard bullying and domestic violence.
But employers oppose the legislation, calling
it an invitation to frivolous lawsuits. And some people point out that the line between someone who is a legitimate victim
of workplace bullying and a disgruntled worker can be difficult to determine.
William Lepowski, a mathematics instructor at Laney College in
Oakland, experienced workplace bullying firsthand several years ago. A Laney administrator accused Lepowski
of improperly selling a statistics textbook he had written to students and faculty.
After asking the administrator for clarification, he found himself reported to human
resources for not following proper procedures. Despite an investigation that cleared him of wrongdoing, his professionalism
was questioned and he was threatened with termination. He was even accused of harassing the administrator who had floated
the initial allegation.
"Once people start
slinging mud, mud tends to stick," he said. "It was a hellish ordeal. I was living all of a sudden in an Alice-in-Wonderland nonsense world where logic is ignored. There was no due process, no justice."
With a 33-year tenure at the school and his reputation at stake,
he decided to fight back. He went public with the charges against him, even though it was stressful to reveal such derogatory
accusations. He mustered support from colleagues in the math department, who passed a resolution asking for an investigation
of the charges against him.
It took almost a
year but eventually Lepowski won full exoneration. He never found out the motive of the administrator who had started the
campaign against him, but that person wrote a letter retracting all the accusations.
The Peralta Community College District, Laney's governing body, apologized for
the stress Lepowski had been subject to. The incident helped prompt the district to adopt an anti-bullying policy in 2004,
making it the first public institution in California to do so. It has also held anti-bullying workshops.
But Lepowski's vindication was unusual. More often than not,
victims of bullying pay with their jobs to make the practice stop.
A 2003 study by Namie's institute found that 37 percent of victims were fired, 33 percent quit and
17 percent were transferred. The bullies were punished in only 4 percent of the cases, while they were transferred in 9 percent.
"Organizations are loath to admit this
is a problem," he said. That's what the proposed
laws want to address.
California was the first state to consider a "healthy workplace"
bill, in 2003, introduced by Assembly members Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) and Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino). The bill,
which would have allowed victims of bullying to sue for up to $25,000 and request that a bully be reassigned, ended up dying
A grassroots Sacramento
lobbying group called Healthy Workplace Advocates hopes to get another version introduced, but may have to wait until after
Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer governor, according to Michelle Smith, co-founder of the group. The governor might be reluctant
to sign a bill imposing more mandates on businesses, she said.
The group is staffed by ardent volunteers, themselves the victims of workplace bullying. It has spawned chapters in
San Francisco and Southern California.
Montana, New Jersey and Oklahoma all will consider anti-bullying legislation this year, according to Namie, whose institute provides support for groups
pushing such laws. Other states, including New York, Kansas, Missouri, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon, have introduced similar bills in the
past two years, without passing them.
legislation catches on in one state, it starts to snowball through states until it hits the federal level," said Carrie
Clark, another co-founder of California's Healthy Workplace Advocates.
Any anti-bullying bill is likely to face strong opposition from employers.
"It looks like just another sue-your-boss bill, opening up
a whole new category for lawsuits that trial attorneys can plaintiff-shop for and then bring suits against employers for damages,"
said Vincent Sollitto, a spokesman for the California Chamber of Commerce, reacting to the 2003 California bill. "It
clearly will be harmful to the employer community."
Anti-bullying advocates counter that similar laws exist in Australia, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Canada's
Quebec province and have not caused a flood of lawsuits.
"The healthy workplace bill is not intended to rule out incivility or rudeness or belching
or glares. It's only to prohibit health-harming, career-disruptive abusive treatment -- severe stuff, the worst of bullying
cases," Namie said.
Why don't companies
crack down on bullying?
Many say they believe
managers are simply taking "get-tough" attitudes to whip slackers into shape. And they're conditioned to support
managers over rank-and-file workers.
percent of workplace bullying is done by bosses, Namie said. "If you're going to be a petty tyrant, you've got
to have title power."
Stronger curbs on
bullying would benefit companies, as well as victims, Namie said. That's because bullying hurts the bottom line through
lost productivity, low morale, departure of experienced workers, and higher health care costs for stressed-out victims.
"In America, if you say it doesn't exist, you
can keep your head in the sand," he said. "We're in total denial while (bullying) is ripping people's lives
and health to shreds."
For more information
-- www.bullyinginstitute.org -- Workplace Bullying Institute run by Gary and Ruth Namie, has studies and research.
-- www.workdoctor.com -- The Namies' consulting firm for employers.
-- www.workplacebullyinglaw.org -- Coordinators of state legislation to curb workplace bullying.
-- www.bullyfreeworkplace.org -- California Healthy Workplace Advocates, grassroots lobbying group seeking to get legislation passed in California.
-- www.workplacebullying.co.uk -- Resources and information. While the legal information is specific to Great Britain, it also has a broad
array of articles and data.
E-mail Carolyn Said at email@example.com
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October 29, 2006
Demons, and Slaves: Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying
Arizona State has just released
research validating the devastating emotional pain experienced by those who are targets of workplace bullying. The article
published by the Sage Management Communication Quarterly can be viewed here:
State has just released research validating the devastating emotional pain experienced by those who are targets of workplace
bullying. The article published by the Sage Management Communication Quarterly can be viewed here:
State wants to know if workplace bullying is a big problem
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - October 20, 2006
by Linda Chiem
Pacific Business News
State officials are trying to determine whether bullying
is a problem in Hawaii's workplaces, but they're finding it hard to get answers.
Employers across the state were sent surveys
in late September asking whether they have an anti-bullying policy. But many of them say they either know nothing about the
survey or are confused by it. Their biggest question is, how do you define bullying?
The surveys are voluntary. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is charged with compiling a report based on employers' anti-bullying policies
for the 2007 legislative session.
While nearly all employers have anti-harassment policies and codes of conduct, not many have clear anti-bullying
policies and are checking the "no" box.
"We are calling back those employers that put no," said state Labor Department spokesman
James Hardway. "We're saying, yes, a professional code of conduct policy constitutes an anti-bullying policy. Basically,
the policy design is, if you don't intimidate your fellow co-workers [and] you treat them with respect, it counts as anti-bullying."
So far, 4,000
employers have responded to the survey, which was sent out along with the state's quarterly contribution report on unemployment
confusion over what's considered bullying in the workplace has led legislators to ask for a summary report on what policies
Hawaii employers already have to see if laws are needed to address the issue.
"There's concern about the issue," said state
Rep. Kirk Caldwell, D-Manoa, chairman of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee. "The greatest fear I have is, how do you define what is bullying? The
intent is to look at examples of legislation, see what's already out there, what do these policies look like and how do
they read, to determine do you even need legislation."
No state has an explicit anti-bullying law. But it seems to be a hot-button issue
with five other states -- Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Washington -- addressing it in 2006 legislative sessions.
At least one
Mainland advocacy group thinks it's a problem. The Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute in Bellingham, Wash., which
has a grass-roots initiative called Bully Busters, claims that one out of every six workers is a victim of workplace bullying.
the institute, seven of every 10 bullies are bosses and four out of five victims are women.
"Bullying is not subjective," said
Jan Roberson, president of Hawaii Business and Professional Women and Bully Busters Hawaii coordinator. "It is chronic
mistreatment easily recognizable by reasonable people. It causes stress-related illnesses and impacts the ability to earn
a living. Bullying creates a hostile work environment and, unchecked, it lowers productivity and ultimately drives down profits."
an anti-bullying advocate with California Healthy Workplace Advocates, says standard professional codes of conduct aren't
enough to protect workers from bullying. California was the first state to introduce anti-bullying legislation, in 2003.
"This phenomenon must
stop and it will probably take many voices to be heard before the powers that be will come to their senses about this issue,"
Smith said. "Too many of them are bullies."
Oct. 18, 2006 NEW JERSEY State Legislature now
has a Healthy Workplace Act (Bill)...A3590 sponsored by Assemblymember Linda R. Greenstein
has just released research validating the devastating emotional pain experienced by those who are targets of workplace bullying.
The article published by the Sage Management Communication Quarterly can be viewed here:
Proclamation Regarding Workplace Bullying
the State of New Jersey has an interest in promoting the social and economic well-being of its employees and citizens; and
that well-being depends upon the existence of healthy and productive employees working in safe and abuse-free work environments;
Whereas, surveys and studies have documented the stress-related health consequences for individuals caused
by exposure to abusive work environments; and
Whereas, abusive work environments can create costly consequences
for employers, including reduced productivity, absenteeism, turnover and employee health-related expenses; and
protection from abusive work environments should apply to every worker, and not limited to legally protected class status
based only on race, color, gender, national origin, age, or disability; and
Now, therefore, I, Governor Jon S. Corzine,
Governor of the State of New Jersey, in recognition of the importance of the a Healthy Workplace, free of Bullying to he do
Monday October 23 through Sunday October 29, 2006,
From Bullies Week in New Jersey.