An advocate describes a toxic environment where a supervisor only targeted women

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When I first started working at a call center, I was really proud. I got good passing rates in my training and was told the business liked promoting from within, so it was exciting.

But I got put into the team with the fastest call times, and the team leader had no time for a newbie who was slowing down the team. The team leader seemed angry if I asked her for advice on a customer.

The team met up for drinks on Fridays. I was always left out of the invite.

If I ever went to the restroom during non-scheduled breaks, the team leader would post the team’s restroom times in a group email. The restroom was on the other side of the building floor, so it took a few minutes to get there and back. When I didn’t use the restroom that week unless on break, the emails would stop, even though I noticed others went without times posted. Then if I had to go to the restroom on work time, I’d run since I knew the email was coming with my name on the top of the list, within five minutes with a note that we need to keep our off call times down.

My desk was taken away. They told me they took it away because I only worked a half day and decided I should be a floater, sitting where people were on leave. Coworkers would get mad when I moved their things so I could work at their stations.

I decided to resign. I left the call center industry for about five years, working in other roles, then went back to call center work for another company.

I had a great boss. I was scared to use the bathroom unless on break. One day, my boss asked “Why are you squirming?” “I’m busting to go to the loo,” I said. He said “So just go.” He could read on my face I was worried. I said “not long till my break time.” He said “you can just go. You don’t need to wait for your break.” Working there was so refreshing, I wasn’t dreading work every day. I did my best every day to make my quotas because I wanted my boss to be happy. We were a team. It felt like a team.

Then I got a new boss. She was a bully. She came into the office on her day off to yell at the team because a customer made a complaint. She didn’t even say hello — just started yelling and then wanted to know if we know what customer service is. It got to the point where people would spend a lot of time with one customer because they couldn’t close off issues out of fear. The more complex issues in emails and calls would get ignored or deleted.

I wasn’t getting the brunt of her bullying, but she had a pregnant woman on the team who she routinely bullied. She would ring this pregnant woman outside work hours to complain about her to her. The pregnant woman had problems with her pregnancy and required extra time off. The boss hated it. If she was ever a minute late, there was a loud public rebuke. If any women questioned any of her ideas in our meetings, they’d be pulled aside after for an hour-long telling off, where they’d be told not to question her and how it was disrespectful and inappropriate. Then the next week she’d ask you why our quotas were down for that day.

For some reason, men on the team were exempt from this mistreatment: allowed to be late, have fun in the office, have a laugh, or tell a customer we can’t make an exception for them. They never got put in a room with her for an hour-long rant.

I asked the bully’s boss to please give her some training because she had no people skills and was overstepping, pulling people out of work to question them about their personal lives that no one wanted to talk to her about. The men in the office knew they were getting special treatment and would call her out, but it was ignored.

For the next four years I was there, I saw her get taken to meetings with WorkSafe on three different occasions regarding three separate employees with the same complaints of her bullying. One was paid out.

The worst part of her bullying was that she’d lie to her bosses about staff or what happened. They always sided with her. In one meeting, our CEO repeated some of the lies she’d told him, and one brave colleague corrected him, telling him exactly what happened and how he had been misinformed. We all backed him. The CEO apologized red-faced and said it shouldn’t have happened that way.

In the fourth year, the company finally gave her training. She finally learned how to deal with people effectively. Suddenly the office was peaceful and a reasonable place to work again.

I left the next year and work for myself now. Sometimes I have nightmares where I’m back in the office. I wake up and think to myself how disgusting it is that I’ve left and I’m still getting stressed over it.

Workplace abuse legislation is now with Senate Ways & Means in Massachusetts

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GREAT NEWS! The workplace anti-abuse Healthy Workplace Bill is now with Senate Ways & Means in Massachusetts. The next move is to urge Senate Ways & Means to move the bill to a floor vote.

Senator Michael J. Rodrigues chairs this committee, so if you’re in his district (Fall River, Freetown, Lakeville, Rochester, Swansea, and Westport) or know people who are in it, let him or his staffers know you want Senate Bill 1072 to move to a floor vote — and pass this message along to those you know in his district.

Find out who your State Senator is in Massachusetts.
See if your State Senator is on Senate Ways & Means.


Next major action

Our next job is to tell Senate Ways & Means Associate Counsel Tovah Miller and Employment Budget Analyst Sasha Kliger our stories and why we want the bill to move to a floor vote. We’ll meet with Tovah and Sasha as a group of advocates on:

Wednesday, November 6, 1-1:30pm

RSVP to info@endworkplaceabuse.com if you’d like to join us (to share your story or why you want the bill to pass or simply show support), and we’ll send you the State House room number.

If you can’t join us or don’t live in Massachusetts, you can still ask for change. Email your story, support for Senate Bill 1072, and request for the bill to move to a floor vote to Tovah at Tovah.Miller@masenate.gov and Sasha at Alexandra.Kliger@masenate.gov by the end of day on Tuesday, November 5.

How you can help win the fight for protections against workplace abuse

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All employees deserve a chance to succeed. That’s why we took on this fight nearly a decade ago and won’t give up.

We have environmental regulations to limit environmental risks, but we don’t regulate the human impact of abuse at work. We don’t leave environmental pollution to the discretion of CEOs. Yet we leave employee health up to CEOs — when CEOs too often lead in ways that serve neither the employees nor the public — nor themselves when you include the hidden costs of turnover and absenteeism.

When passed, this policy will help regulate out-of-control abuse at work so thousands of workers can feel safe to do their jobs.

And it’s the employees best doing their jobs, whose competence and ethics pose the most threat to their bosses, who are most at risk of mistreatment at work.

This campaign is your campaign. Campaigns don’t win with a few people speaking up. They win when enough people say enough is enough. It will take all of us to take on business interests who want to stay unaccountable and to make employee health an urgent matter among the 6,000+ issues brought to our State Legislatures each session. Your voice in this campaign is crucial.

Here’s what advocates have built together over the last decade:

  • Our base: 10,000+ grassroots supporters to reach out to during the legislative session, including a Facebook page of 4,000+ followers.
  • Our team: A solid group of advocates who spread the word about workplace abuse and the bill, strategize, lobby, and testify at the State House.
  • Our legislative support: More than half of the entire State Legislature as co-sponsors — 109 — in Massachusetts alone.
  • Our strategy: A plan to pressure key legislators during the process and gain media coverage, including this powerful Boston Globe piece we made happen earlier this year.

The biggest obstacle in past legislative sessions has been getting legislators to make this bill a priority. But we can keep the pressure on legislators to move the bill forward. Even if you don’t live in a specific state, you can write to these legislators asking them to move the bill forward.

So here’s what we’re asking of you:

1. Know what’s going on in your state and take action:

MASSACHUSETTS
The bill in Massachusetts sits with the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development after our hearing in June. In past sessions, this committee moved the bill forward, but only when it was too late in the session for the bill to continue moving forward. We need your help to put the pressure on and move the bill more quickly out of this committee.

Send your story and/or written support for Senate Bill 1072 to members of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. We simply cannot get over the finish line without you. The energy for this bill this has been overwhelming. The problem is that if the committee members don’t read enough stories or testimony to convince them it’s an urgent matter, we’ll have to start all over again next session, leaving employees unprotected for even longer. (Due to the nature of this topic, they can keep your name confidential if requested.) Email your story or testimony to Samuel Larson at samuel.larson@mahouse.gov. He works for the committee and will distribute what you submit to the committee members. Even if you’re out-of-state, your voice will help.

Meet with Committee Chairwoman Senator Pat Jehlen’s staff. Senator Pat Jehlen has the most power to move this bill forward. Email Senator Pat Jehlen’s Political Director Mark Martinez at mark.martinez@masenate.gov to meet with him about your experience and why you want the bill to pass. 

Urge your own state legislators to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur in support of Senate Bill 1072Contact your state senator and state rep and ask them to write to Senator Jehlen and Rep. Brodeur to ask them to move the bill favorably out of committee. If you can’t meet with your legislators:

  1. Call your legislators. Tell whoever answers the phone “I’m calling to ask _____ to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur to urge them to move Senate Bill 1072, an act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and harassment, without regard to protected class status, favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.” They may ask you your name and address.
  2. Followup with an email. Tell the legislators why you want them to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur to urge them to move Senate Bill 1072 favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Include links to these flyers to explain the bill and the full text of the bill:
    http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com/MAWorkplaceBullyingFactSheet.pdf
    http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com/MAWorkplaceBullyingFactSheet3.pdf
    LA Times article: “To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying” 
    https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S1072/
     

RHODE ISLAND
In the spring, Rhode Island became the second state in the nation to pass the bill through their State Senate. It then moved onto the House Labor Committee, who held a hearing and voted for the bill to be tabled for further study. But we can change that.

Email your story to these legislators and ask them to move House Bill 6087 favorably out of the House Labor Committee:
rep-williams@rilegislature.gov, rep-mckiernan@rilegislature.gov, rep-fellela@rilegislature.gov, rep-alzate@rilegislature.gov, rep-blazejewski@rilegislature.gov, rep-casey@rilegislature.gov, rep-edwards@rilegislature.gov, rep-jackson@rilegislature.gov, rep-lyle@rilegislature.gov, rep-mcentee@rilegislature.gov, rep-mcnamara@rilegislature.gov, rep-messier@rilegislature.gov, rep-millea@rilegislature.gov, rep-newberry@rilegislature.gov, rep-noret@rilegislature.gov, rep-ucci@rilegislature.gov


CONNECTICUT, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, UTAH, AND WEST VIRGINIA
These states all have active bills, and you can show your support through email if you live in these states. Find out how:
https://endworkplaceabuse.com/take-urgent-action/


2. Ask others to do the same. Share with your friends why you support this bill. No one will be better at bringing people into this campaign than you, and we need more voices to keep the pressure on this summer and fall.

3. Help research email addresses. Spend just a few hours researching email addresses — key people to spread the word to. Find out how by emailing info@endworkplaceabuse.com.
4. Share your ideas and skills with us. Think you have an idea or skill you can bring to the cause to help build awareness that workplace abuse exists and that we’re fighting for change? Email info@endworkplaceabuse.com, and we’ll support you in any way we can.

5. Advocate in your state. Find out how by emailing info@endworkplaceabuse.com.

 

We can’t be prouder of what we’ve built together. It’s easy to get discouraged that the full bill hasn’t passed in the roughly ten years advocates have pushed it. But that’s a normal timeframe to build momentum, especially for a bill of this magnitude. And every conversation you have, post you share, and effort you take to spread the word helps us build a groundswell that will not only move the bill forward but will pass this bill and help employees believe again that we matter.

Re-inventing our workplaces was never going to be easy, but we’re more resolved than ever to fight to make it happen. Believe that we will pass the full bill this session somewhere in the US.

Move workplace abuse legislation forward in Rhode Island


Workplace abuse legislation passed the Rhode Island Senate in April. Shortly after, we testified in front of the House Labor Committee in support of House Bill 6087, which would establish a cause of action against employers and employees for workplace bullying, harassment, and other abusive conduct.

Rhode Island is the second state in the nation to pass our state’s Senate, and we need your help in getting the bill through the House so it can become law.

Email your workplace abuse story
to the House Labor Committee members

Draft your story in one page:
Where did you work and what did you do?
How did the bullying begin? What tactics were used?
How did you feel?
How did it escalate?
How did your employer react (or not react)?
What was the impact on you?
What was the impact on the organization?
Why do you want workplace bullying legislation to pass?
What advice do you have for others going through bullying at work?

Email your story, along with your name and address, to these legislators and ask them to move House Bill 6087 favorably out of committee:
rep-williams@rilegislature.govrep-mckiernan@rilegislature.govrep-fellela@rilegislature.govrep-alzate@rilegislature.govrep-blazejewski@rilegislature.govrep-casey@rilegislature.govrep-edwards@rilegislature.govrep-jackson@rilegislature.govrep-lyle@rilegislature.govrep-mcentee@rilegislature.govrep-mcnamara@rilegislature.govrep-messier@rilegislature.govrep-millea@rilegislature.govrep-newberry@rilegislature.govrep-noret@rilegislature.govrep-ucci@rilegislature.gov

Spread the word to others to either share their stories or simply write to these legislators in support of the bill.

The bill
Workplace abuse legislation give employers incentives to take inexpensive, proactive measures to deter abusive behavior, measures they already need to abide by with civil rights law. Finally, we’d hold employers accountable for abuse they generally ignore or make worse — and give them incentives to address it in the first place.

 Because the worst of the transgressions already are illegal, lawmakers seem satisfied to call for culprits to be fired or to step down and for corporate and industry leaders to promise that they’ll crack down on offenders more quickly in the future. But legislators can do more to address the problem. They can make workplace bullying illegal. Too many corporate leaders find it expedient to look the other way when bosses — especially ones they deem indispensable — systematically intimidate and humiliate underlings. Bullies who believe that their whims matter more than other people’s dignity often don’t see why their sexual impulses shouldn’t be just as indulged.”
— LA Times’ David Lieberman

Sadly, those who suffer most from abuse of power are those not often in power: women and non-White workers, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). It’s a loophole in the law that prevents those who don’t have power from ever getting it.The worst industries for abuse: education, healthcare, government, and other non-profits. 

Workplace abuse: the basics
Workplace abuse is a widespread problem. The WBI estimates that 60.4 million U.S. workers have been affected by it. That’s 1.5 times the population of California and four times more common than sexual harassment and racial discrimination at work.

Employees suffer:
They begin feeling demoralized after repeated attacks (false accusations, exclusion, withholding necessary resources, behind-the-back sabotage and defamation, put-downs, excessively harsh criticism, and unreasonably heavy work demands, for example) and start to doubt their ability to succeed at employment elsewhere.
After months and years of abuse, they can experience a host of stress-related health problems including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, migraines, fatigue, muscle pain, and digestive issues.They’re forced to choose between their health and a paycheck and health insurance.
Some lose their entire careers, giving up their investments in education.
They feel isolated after their family and friends feel unable to help, leading to suicidal thoughts.
Organizations suffer, too. With increased absences (including sick leave), turnover, errors, and presenteeism (showing up but checking out) and decreased productivity and morale, organizations’ bottom lines deteriorate, making them less competitive.

We have environmental regulations to limit environmental risks but few regulations for employee well-being. We have occupational health and safety laws calling for reports on workplace accidents and deaths. We uphold building codes, put down wet floor signs, and routinely inspect equipment — all physical protections. But we don’t mention the human impact of emotional and mental abuse. So we leave employee health up to our CEOs, who too often ignore damage to their employees. We don’t leave environmental pollution and occupational health and safety up to CEOs. So why do we leave employee health up to CEOs — when CEOs too often lead in ways that serve neither the employees nor their bottom lines?

Other countries have laws that address workplace abuse, including Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, and Denmark. The United States remains last among western democracies to have no anti-abuse laws for the general workforce.

Another way you can help
We need as many people as possible to contact your own state legislators and ask them to move Senate Bill 90/House Bill 6087 forward. Legislators care most about what their own constituents want so they can get re-elected, so calling and emailing your own state legislators is an effective way to move the bill forward.
Find out how to contact your state legislators

How we’ll win the fight for protections against workplace abuse

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We started this campaign about a decade ago, expecting a long haul, because we believe all employees deserve a chance to succeed. 

We have environmental regulations to limit environmental risks, but we don’t regulate the human impact of abuse at work. We don’t leave environmental pollution to the discretion of CEOs. Yet we leave employee health up to CEOs — when CEOs too often lead in ways that serve neither the employees nor the public nor themselves when you include the hidden costs of turnover and absenteeism.

We need to pass this policy to regulate out-of-control abuse at work so thousands of workers can feel safe to do their jobs.

This campaign is your campaign. It will take all of us to take on business interests who want to stay unaccountable and to make employee health an urgent matter among the 6,000+ issues brought to the State Legislature each session. Your voice in this campaign is crucial.

Here’s what we’ve built together over the last decade:

  • Our base: 10,000+ grassroots supporters to reach out to during the legislative session, including a Facebook page of 4,000+ followers.
  • Our team: A solid group of advocates who spread the word about workplace abuse and the bill, strategize, lobby, and testify at the State House.
  • Our legislative support: More than half of the entire State Legislature as co-sponsors: 109.
  • Our strategy: A plan to pressure key legislators during the process and gain media coverage, including this powerful Boston Globe piece we made happen earlier this year.

Our biggest obstacle in the past four legislative sessions has been getting legislators to make this bill a priority. Every session, we have a hearing in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in the spring or summer of the first year of the session. Committees have until January or February of the second year — when this bill generally moves forward — to say yes or no to moving bills forward out of their committees. The problem: there’s little time to push this bill through the Senate and House by July when the session ends.

With growing support from legislators each session, including doubling the number of legislative sponsors this session, we believe we can keep the pressure on legislators to move the bill into the State Senate before 2020.

So here’s what we’re asking of you:

First: Send your story and/or written support for Senate Bill 1072 to members of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. We simply cannot get over the finish line without you. The energy for this bill this has been overwhelming. The problem is that if the committee members don’t read enough stories or testimony to convince them it’s an urgent matter, we’ll have to start all over again next session, leaving employees unprotected for even longer. (Due to the nature of this topic, they can keep your name confidential if requested.) Email your story or testimony to Samuel Larson at samuel.larson@mahouse.gov. He works for the committee and will distribute what you submit to the committee members. Even if you’re out-of-state, your voice will help. 

Second: Meet with Committee Chairwoman Senator Pat Jehlen’s staff. Senator Pat Jehlen has the most power to move this bill forward. Email Senator Pat Jehlen’s Political Director Mark Martinez at mark.martinez@masenate.gov to meet with him about your experience and why you want the bill to pass. 

Third: Urge your own state legislators to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur in support of Senate Bill 1072Contact your state senator and state rep and ask them to write to Senator Jehlen and Rep. Brodeur to ask them to move the bill favorably out of committee. If you can’t meet with your legislators:

  1. Call your legislators. Tell whoever answers the phone “I’m calling to ask _____ to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur to urge them to move Senate Bill 1072, an act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and harassment, without regard to protected class status, favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.” They may ask you your name and address.
  2. Followup with an email. Tell the legislators why you want them to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur to urge them to move Senate Bill 1072 favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Include links to these flyers to explain the bill and the full text of the bill:
    http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com/MAWorkplaceBullyingFactSheet.pdf
    http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com/MAWorkplaceBullyingFactSheet3.pdf
    LA Times article: “To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying” 
    https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S1072/

Fourth: Ask others to do the same. Share with your friends why you support this bill. No one will be better at bringing people into this campaign than you, and we need more voices to keep the pressure on this summer and fall.
 

We can’t be prouder of what we’ve built together. It’s easy to get discouraged that the bill hasn’t passed in the roughly ten years we’ve pushed it. But that’s a normal timeframe to build momentum, especially for a bill of this magnitude. And every conversation you have, post you share, and effort you take to spread the word helps us build a groundswell that will not only move the bill into the State Senate, but will pass this bill and help employees believe again that we matter.

Re-inventing our workplaces was never going to be easy, but we’re more resolved than ever to fight to make it happen. Believe that we will pass this bill this session.

How you can shine in your power after horrible leadership

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“Narcissists love to get your reaction. And as soon as they do, you are handing power away,” says narcissistic abuse expert Melanie Tonia Evans in her article 5 Steps To Ignoring A Narcissist Who Tries To Punish You.

The solution, she says, is totally ignoring them — giving them no energy and no response.

Here’s why: the narcissist has insecurities so intense that he or she creates an image “to be a buffer between the narcissist and his or her inner wounds,” says Evans. “This entity, known as Ego (False Self), is running the narcissist’s emotions and life and feeds from pain.” So when you injure his or her False Self by standing in your power and triggering his or her insecurities, you become the object of the narcissist’s wounds.

The False Self feeds off pain, while the True Self (even if it’s still imprisoned by internal trauma) feeds off love, authenticity, and truth. “Because the narcissist is self-divorced from his or her True Self, the narcissist cannot feel, register, or hold good feelings. He or she can only operate within the range of painful feelings. All ‘good’ feelings for a narcissist are delusional/obsessive and ego-driven,” says Evans. “It’s your ego that wants to fight on, but our True Self knows that the energy being expended and the brutalisation we suffer is not worth it, and is NOT who you really are.”

Showing their False Selves and focusing on feeding their egos at the expense of your power is what poor leaders do. Showing their True Selves and allowing you to shine in your truth — your love, authenticity, and truth — are what good leaders do.

Sometimes we’re dealing with people in power who have full-fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder. More often, when we’re upset with selfish behavior, we’re dealing with people in power who fall along a spectrum of narcissism.

I dealt with this behavior recently. This person in power surrounded himself with a good ol’ boys’ club — full of abusive behavior — whose work he boosted while minimizing my work and barely acknowledging my contributions and concerns. His leadership was absent, and his focus was on his image, even though he claimed to support healthy relationships.

Simply put: he wasn’t walking the talk. He put ego over connection.

The behavior didn’t align with my beliefs. It was unfair. Yet I was a perfect target for narcissistic supply because I’d stood up to the behavior in the past. I handed my power over and allowed his issues to bother my inner peace. I’d reinforced the hierarchy he created. I’d fed his need for power.

And in the meantime, I was allowing him to take mine.

This time, I refused to make his trauma my problem. I refused to hand him the bullets to shoot me with, as Evans puts it.

Instead, I set out to make his ego issue insignificant and meaningless in my life. What was also happening is what Evans describes as True Self yelling at me this: “Pull away and heal and create yourself as a Being that is impervious to abuse. Don’t try to fight back because you will only feed it, absorb it, and become it.

What I learned

Let me be clear: grabbing power is always the root problem. Workplace abuse always falls on the shoulders of the abusers. We all deserve healthy work environments.

How we address the effects of their abuse can determine our path. According to Evans, when we hand power over to someone trying to grab it, we still have our own trauma to address. Complete healing means staying away from power-grabbers and becoming drawn to healthy relationships. Ignoring narcissists becomes easy because “we have made the journey all about loving and healing ourselves instead of trying to make the narcissist morph into someone who will love and care for us decently,” says Evans.

So how do we let the power-grabbers affect us in the first place?

Unhealed wounds can take any toxic form of how we were taught to view ourselves as children: “feeling not good enough, feeling loved with conditions, feeling not heard, not able to have my own rights, and not being capable to generate my own life,” says Evans. When others trigger those wounds, we (the unhealed children who dictate our emotions) hold them responsible to fix them. But of course they never will.

“It’s a beautiful day when the narcissist tries to trigger you and there is simply NO trauma there for him or her to trigger,” says Evans. “That’s when your response is indifference and you have nil reaction. No charge felt in your body means there is no trauma remaining. We are freeing ourselves from internal trauma which has caused us to hand power away in many areas of our life.

Let’s go even deeper

We think that letting go of what the narcissist thinks means we’ll let down our defenses from them. We’ll be unsafe, threatened, scared, and taken down. We fear authority and the terror of being persecuted. We equate others thinking we’re bad or our behavior is wrong with being hurt.

What’s actually happening is that we’re tapping into the fear and powerlessness we felt as children. But when we target those feelings and release them, we realize our power. We know we’re loved and feel safe. “We know that whatever it is that is inauthentic outside of us is not our reality and cannot affect us,” says Evans.

The goal is to believe we are not always the person others believe we are — and to not live in fear that others will turn against us.

The only thing that matters is what we think of us — not what anyone else thinks of us. Once we focus on ourselves, we can follow a path of love and truth.

Next steps after a dozen advocates spoke up about abuse at work

About a dozen advocates spoke up on behalf of targets of workplace abuse in Massachusetts when they told their stories yesterday at a public hearing in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development at the Massachusetts State House.

The three-hour long hearing opened with lead sponsor and Senator Paul Feeney, bill author and Suffolk Law professor David Yamada, and former SEIU president Greg Sorozan laying out the facts about workplace abuse: what it is, what it causes, and why this bill hits the sweet spot for introducing protections for targets of workplace abuse.

Senator Paul Feeney speaks to legislators, including Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Stephan Hay.

Legislators thanked targets for sharing their stories, some so extreme that they prompted reactions from legislators.

Next steps

Share your written testimony
with the Committee Chairs and Sam Larson
Last session, this bill sat with this committee for about eight months before it moved forward, leaving little time to move the bill through the rest of the session.

This session, we can urge the Committee Chairs to move the bill favorably out of committee as soon as possible:

Senate Chair Pat Jehlen of Medford, Somerville, Cambridge wards 9 to 11, and Winchester, precincts 4 to 7:
Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov
(617) 722-1578
Political Director: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov

House Chair Paul Brodeur of Malden: Ward 5: Precinct 2; Melrose; Wakefield: Precincts 4, 5, 6:
Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov
(617) 722-2013
Aide: Patrick Prendergast, patrick.prendergast@mahouse.gov

They hold the most power to move this bill forward.

We can share our stories and written testimony and educate them on the nuances of the bill through meetings, phone calls, and emails. Meetings are the most effective, and we recommend scheduling those with Mark Martinez and Patrick Prendergast directly, even if you don’t live in their districts.

Also send your written testimony to Sam Larson, samuel.larson@mahouse.gov, who will share your testimony with the entire committee (even for those of you out-of-state).

Urge your own state legislators to contact
Senator Jehlen and Rep. Brodeur in support of Senate Bill 1072

We ask you to contact your state senator and state rep and ask them to write to Senator Jehlen and Rep. Brodeur to ask them to move the bill favorably out of committee. 

If you can’t meet with your legislators:

  1. Call your legislators. Tell whoever answers the phone “I’m calling to ask _____ to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur to urge them to move Senate Bill 1072, an act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and harassment, without regard to protected class status, favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.” They may ask you your name and address.
  2. Followup with an email. Tell the legislators why you want them to write to Senator Pat Jehlen and Rep. Paul Brodeur to urge them to move Senate Bill 1072 favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Include links to these flyers to explain the bill and the full text of the bill:
    http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com/MAWorkplaceBullyingFactSheet.pdf
    http://www.mahealthyworkplace.com/MAWorkplaceBullyingFactSheet3.pdf
    LA Times article: “To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying” 
    https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S1072/
  3. Ask others who live in Massachusetts to do the same.