How advocates are progressing the anti-workplace bullying movement — and what we’re working on next

Young businesswoman putting adhesive notes on glass wall in office

Last night, we met at the Boston Public Market to talk about strategy to pass the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill and to share what each of us are contributing to build awareness about what workplace bullying is. We talked about how school bullying legislation took years to pass and only became urgent after a school bullying suicide, so we’re investigating workplace bullying suicides. We talked about also researching homicides from workplace bullying.

Here’s what advocates are up to:

  • An advocate has attended rallies and other events like Town Hall events and took photos to share on social media.
  • An advocate wrote, produced, and sang a song about workplace bullying. She’s working on a play and video, too.
  • An advocate will take information about the bill back to his union.
  • An advocate presents about workplace bullying at career centers and adult education centers around Boston and will share his booklet so others can do the same in other parts of the Commonwealth if they’re interested.

As two advocates drive two hours to attend the meeting, we talked about having meetings across the Commonwealth on a monthly basis. So we’re looking for:

  • An advocate in each area (Boston (on the MBTA), North Shore, South Shore/Cape Cod, Southcoast, Central Massachusetts, and Western Massachusetts) to conduct monthly meetings and find a free location for these meetings.
  • Go around the room to ask people what they’ve either been working on or can commit to working on. Support and encourage them. Our experience has been that most ideas in brainstorming sessions don’t get acted upon, so the value in these meetings is helping those who are taking action, offering connections/building on actions, and inspiring those who may be there to listen to take action.
  • Take notes and share actions with us so we can spread the word and make statewide connections.

If you’d like to lead a monthly meeting in one of these six Massachusetts regions, email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com with dates, times, and locations, and we’ll create Facebook events to get the word out.

Thanks in advance for your help in spreading the word.

How much support for workplace bullying we gained in the State House

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Today, we heard that the Healthy Workplace Bill gained the support of 46 sponsors:

Lead sponsor Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)
Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton)
Senator William N. Brownsberger (D-Boston)
Senator Kenneth Donnelly (D-Woburn)
Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Peabody)
Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Shrewsbury)
Rep. James Arciero (D-Chelmsford)
Rep. Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow)
Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy)
Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton)
Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)
Rep. Tackey Chan (D-Quincy)
Rep. Brendan P. Crighton (D-Lynn)
Rep. Claire D. Cronin (D-Brockton)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Daniel Donahue (D-Worcester)
Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Barnstable)
Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester)
Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose (D-Amherst)
Rep. Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough)
Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown)
Rep. Russell E. Holmes (D-Boston)
Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Brighton)
Rep. Donald F. Humason, Jr. (R-Westfield)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. Kevin J. Kuros (R-Uxbridge)
Rep. John Mahoney (D-Worcester)
Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham)
Rep. James O’Day (D-West Boylston)
Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch (D-Wellesley)
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. Steven Ultrino (D-Malden)
Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke)
Rep. John C. Velis (D-Westfield)
Rep. David Vieira (R-East Falmouth)
Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)
Rep. Chris Walsh (D-Framingham)
Rep. Jonathan D. Zlotnik (D-Gardner)

What’s interesting about this list is if we combined past sponsors who are still in the State House, we’d have 72 sponsors. So it’s 12 less than the previous session but roughly 14 more than supporters in the State Legislature.

This list simply shows we have relatively the same amount of support as last session. What truly counts is the vote.

Stay tuned for next steps.

The number of legislative sponsors backing anti-workplace bullying legislation in Massachusetts so far

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Your calls are continuing to work! We’re up to 19 sponsors, and we still have three full days left to gain support in the State House:

Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton)
Senator Kenneth Donnelly (D-Woburn)
Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Rep. Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow)
Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Daniel Donahue (D-Worcester)
Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester)
Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. James O’Day (D-West Boylston)
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke)

Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)

Last session, we had 58 sponsors. So keep those calls and emails coming, asking your Massachusetts state legislators to sign onto Senate Docket 768 (lead sponsor: Senator Jennifer Flanagan). We want to reach 70 co-sponsors by Friday, February 3.

Email past supporters by this Friday

Email these past sponsors to thank them for their past support and to ask them to sign onto Senate Docket 768 (lead sponsor Senator Jennifer Flanagan):
Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov, Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, James.Eldridge@masenate.gov, Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, Ruth.Balser@mahouse.gov, Christine.Barber@mahouse.gov, Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, Gailanne.Cariddi@mahouse.gov, brendan.crighton@mahouse.gov, Angelo.D’Emilia@mahouse.gov, Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov, Tricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.gov, Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov, Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov, Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov, Ken.Gordon@mahouse.gov, Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov, Mary.Keefe@mahouse.gov, Kay.Khan@mahouse.gov, Peter.Kocot@mahouse.gov, Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov, Kevin.Kuros@mahouse.gov, John.Mahoney@mahouse.gov, Paul.Mark@mahouse.gov, Mathew.Muratore@mahouse.gov, Harold.Naughton@mahouse.gov, Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov, Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov, Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov, Alan.Silvia@mahouse.gov, Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov, David.Vieira@mahouse.gov, Chris.Walsh@mahouse.gov, Danielle.Gregoire@mahouse.gov, Russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov, Kevin.Honan@mahouse.gov, John.Lawn@mahouse.gov, Paul.McMurtry@mahouse.gov, Theodore.Speliotis@mahouse.gov, Nick.Collins@mahouse.gov

Call your legislators by this Friday

Call. Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223. Within a few minutes, you’ll get a text back with your legislators’ phone numbers. Call the two bottom numbers and ask the person who answers to request that the Rep or Senator co-sponsor Senate Docket 768, lead sponsor Senator Jennifer Flanagan. It’s that simple!

Email. If you absolutely can’t call because you can’t get away from work during business hours or if you want to back up your phone call, email both of your legislators. We’ve made that process simple, too: Visit our easy tool to find your legislators and a form letter or write your own. The message will come from your email box.

If you don’t see both a Rep and a Senator in your text or you get a return email saying your message couldn’t go through, go to the Massachusetts Legislature website, find your State Rep’s and State Senator’s email addresses, and email them the old-fashioned way.

These state legislators haven’t co-sponsored in the past but have expressed interest in doing so. Give these legislators an extra phone call if you’re in their district:

Boston:
Rep. Edward Coppinger (D-Boston), 617-722-2304
Rep. Russell Holmes (D-Boston), 617-722-2220
Dorchester:
Rep. Daniel Hunt (D-Dorchester), 617-722-2263
Malden:
Rep. Steven Ultrino (D-Malden), 617-722-2460
Methuen:
Rep. Linda Campbell (D-Methuen), 617-722-2430
New Bedford:
Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford), 617-722-1440
Provincetown:
Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown), 617-722-2040
Quincy:
Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy), 617-722-1494
West Roxbury:
Senator Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury), 617-722-1348
West Springfield:
Senator James Welch (D-West Springfield), 617-722-1660
Wrentham:

Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham), 617-722-1555

We have until Friday, February 3 to make urge our legislators to end workplace bullying, but the sooner you call or email, the more legislators we can ultimately reach.

The latest on co-sponsors to end workplace bullying, with one week left to get them

Young businesswoman putting adhesive notes on glass wall in office

It’s day 5 of a 10-day window to obtain co-sponsors for the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill. Here’s who’s co-sponsored the bill so far:

Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)

That’s nine sponsors. Last session, we had 58. So keep those calls and emails coming. We want to reach 70 co-sponsors by Friday, February 3.

What you can do

  1. Thank last session’s co-sponsors and ask them to sign on again. Email this list (we already removed current co-sponsors, retired legislators, and those who weren’t re-elected):

    Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov, Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, James.Eldridge@masenate.gov, Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, Brian.Ashe@mahouse.gov, Bruce.Ayers@mahouse.gov, Ruth.Balser@mahouse.gov, Christine.Barber@mahouse.gov, Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, Gailanne.Cariddi@mahouse.gov, brendan.crighton@mahouse.gov, Angelo.D’Emilia@mahouse.gov, Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov, Tricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.gov, Ann-Margaret.Ferrante@mahouse.gov, Sean.Garballey@mahouse.gov, Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov, Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov, Ken.Gordon@mahouse.gov, Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov, Jonathan.Hecht@mahouse.gov, Mary.Keefe@mahouse.gov, Kay.Khan@mahouse.gov, Peter.Kocot@mahouse.gov, Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov, Kevin.Kuros@mahouse.gov, John.Mahoney@mahouse.gov, Paul.Mark@mahouse.gov, Mathew.Muratore@mahouse.gov, Harold.Naughton@mahouse.gov, Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov, Denise.Provost@mahouse.gov, Dave.Rogers@mahouse.gov, Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov, Alan.Silvia@mahouse.gov, Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov, Aaron.Vega@mahouse.gov, David.Vieira@mahouse.gov, Chris.Walsh@mahouse.gov, Danielle.Gregoire@mahouse.gov, Russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov, Kevin.Honan@mahouse.gov, John.Lawn@mahouse.gov, Paul.McMurtry@mahouse.gov, James.O’Day@mahouse.gov, Theodore.Speliotis@mahouse.gov, Nick.Collins@mahouse.gov

  2. Call your State Rep AND State Senator. Calling is much more effective than emailing. Legislators can’t ignore phone calls but can ignore emails in their inboxes. We’ll make it incredibly easy:

    Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223. Within a few minutes, you’ll get a text back with your legislators’ phone numbers. Call the two bottom numbers and ask the person who answers to request that the Rep or Senator co-sponsor Senate Docket 768. It’s that simple!

    We’re in close contact with Senator Jennifer Flanagan’s office to find out who’s signed on and who we need to nudge, so the sooner you can make these calls, the more co-sponsors we can sign on to end workplace bullying in Massachusetts. Email this post onto your contacts so we can flood our legislators with phone calls.

  3. Email your State Rep AND State Senator. If you absolutely can’t call because you can’t get away from work during business hours or if you want to back up your phone call, email both of your legislators. We’ve made that process simple, too:

    Visit our easy tool to find your legislators and a form letter or write your own. The message will come from your email box.


If you don’t see both a Rep and a Senator in your text or you get a return email saying your message couldn’t go through, go to the Massachusetts Legislature website, find your State Rep’s and State Senator’s email addresses, and email them the old-fashioned way.

We have until Friday, February 3 to make urge our legislators to end workplace bullying, but the sooner you call or email, the more legislators we can ultimately reach.

Where we’re at in getting co-sponsors to end workplace bullying

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Here’s where we’re at so far with co-sponsors to the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, now in its pre-bill stage as Senate Docket 768:
Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield)
Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Chelsea)

Our goal: to surpass 58 co-sponsors

What this information means

With eight days left in the window to gather co-sponsors and only two days into the window, this list simply means if your State Rep has co-sponsored already, you don’t have to nudge them anymore (though still nudge your State Senator next week if your State Rep is already on the list and you’ve already called both).

Most co-sponsors won’t have signed on yet, but we encourage you to call them again next week if you’ve already called them this week.

The great news

Compared to last session, we have signs of major progress:

We’re encouraging calls more than emails, and we have an easy tool to make calls. Calls are more effective than emails, since emails tend to just sit in an inbox, but calls are live voices forcing someone to stop what they’re doing and see a more obvious pattern. Though we have easy tools for both phone (see below) and email, we’ve made calling simpler and easier to understand. (We had a glitch with email earlier this week, so if you tried it before and ran into problems, try it again — it’s fixed now. Ideally, calling AND emailing is the way to go. But email if you’re not able to call.)

Many more likes and shares. Off the heels of thousands of people marching, people are now looking for what they can do to change this bully culture. They want to stop abuse of power. In addition to the work we’ve done to build our masses since the last session, our social media graphics are simply getting much more traction — and we still have eight days left in the window to get co-sponsors. Last session, our most popular graphic had 127 likes and 74 shares on Facebook. So far on this post alone, we’ve trounced those numbers: we’ve had 407 likes and 194 shares. Click on the graphic below to share and like to get others to spread the word.

Keep spreading the word

We’ll post more graphics on social media. Share them again in case other people missed them last time. In the meantime, we’ll continue to update you with the list of co-sponsors so you can call your state legislators again in the final days to get them to sign on to support this bill.

Thank you for calling and emailing. Every call and email is the equivalent of 15 constituents to them. So know you’re making a difference in the lives of employees across Massachusetts by advocating for them.

Understand your personal power and act to end workplace bullying

Woman yelling into a bullhorn on an urban street

We’ve encountered many people in this journey who don’t realize their personal power. We can spot them quickly because they see a problem or opportunity and instead of just doing, they say things like:

  • “You should….”
  • “This needs to be done….”
  • “I don’t have time….”
  • “I’m busy….”

We’re ALL busy, we all have the same amount of time in the day (it’s a matter of priority), and if we see an opportunity, it’s not someone else’s job to do it. It’s yours.

With these ideas in mind, here are tips to follow so we can all move forward together — with respect and dignity (since that’s what we ultimately aim to promote):

  • Use the term “we,” not “you.” People like to use the term “you” when they don’t feel ownership. But changing the culture is everyone’s responsibility. We’re a team. Use the term “we” instead of “you” to show you want to move forward together and that you understand ending workplace bullying is as much your responsibility as anyone else’s.
  • Pitch in. I’ve spent years blogging, posting, sign-holding, making connections, organizing meetings, building and updating a website, creating petitions, getting videos created, talking with reporters…. Yet some people ask me to do more. I always ask “can you do it?” That’s when the excuses begin. This movement can’t progress without everyone who’s healed pitching in. If you see a need, don’t ask for permission. Do what you think needs to be done (enlisting help if you need it, of course). It’s no one else’s job but yours (and no one owns this movement).
  • If you don’t have a skill, go find it. We all have ideas we don’t have the skills to execute. But this movement is built on planting seeds and building our base. Have an idea? Go out and find someone who has the skills to execute it. Get them on our team.
  • Educate yourself. Don’t know what we’re already doing but have an idea? It’s your responsibility to find out. Ask questions. Do your homework on our website and Facebook page. Understand what’s already happening and why before offering suggestions. It’s your responsibility. Never dictate with “you should.” A campaign to uphold dignity and respect gets built on dignity and respect.
  • Make time. A lot of us have full-time jobs (including looking for a job, which is a full-time job), families, friends, groups we’re involved with, and plans. We are ALL stretched thin. Never use being busy as an excuse. What you’re really saying is “I have the same amount of time as you in the day, but it’s not a priority for me.” It’s not a fair approach. Granted some have more time than others, but most people have some time to do something (if you don’t, devote time to taking care of yourself or your other priorities instead of getting involved). Always offer what you’re doing rather than what others can do out of respect for them.
  • Let go of the fear. Fear is likely at the root of holding you back. Some of it’s perfectly valid (like being in a job with a bully and not wanting to get retaliated against for working on this bill). But most fear is rooted in thinking you can’t do. We’re here to tell you you can. Your bully boss lied to you about what you’re capable of because he or she was intimidated by your competence. Don’t tolerate it, but take it as a compliment that you’re more than capable. Don’t believe the lies. Need proof? Start doing. Start taking action on this bill. You’ll see how fast your confidence comes back.

Let’s move forward together and build momentum that’s already rapidly increasing — with respect and dignity. You have that power.

URGENT ACTION: End workplace bullying by asking your state legislators to co-sponsor the bill

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We need your help. Getting legislators to request to co-sponsor the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill shows support behind the bill. Now is the time in the two-year legislative session when we sign on co-sponsors. We need you to ask your State Rep and State Senator to request to co-sponsor the bill.

In the past three full sessions, we’ve gone from 13 to 39 to 58 co-sponsors. We aim to sail past those numbers this session with thousands more supporters.

Here’s what we need you to do in the next week:

  1. Call your State Rep AND State Senator. Calling is much more effective than emailing. Legislators can’t ignore phone calls but can ignore emails in their inboxes. We’ll make it incredibly easy:

    Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223. Within a few minutes, you’ll get a text back with your legislators’ phone numbers. Call the two bottom numbers and ask the person who answers to request that the Rep or Senator co-sponsor Senate Docket 768. It’s that simple!

    We’ll be in close contact with Senator Jennifer Flanagan’s office in the upcoming week to find out who’s signed on and who we need to nudge, so the sooner you can make these calls, the more co-sponsors we can sign on to end workplace bullying in Massachusetts. Email this post onto your contacts so we can flood our legislators with phone calls.

  2. Email your State Rep AND State Senator. If you absolutely can’t call because you can’t get away from work during business hours or if you want to back up your phone call, email both of your legislators. We’ve made that process simple, too:Visit our easy tool to find your legislators and a form letter or write your own. The message will come from your email box.

    If you get a return email saying your message couldn’t go through, go to the Massachusetts Legislature website, find your State Rep’s and State Senator’s email addresses, and email them the old-fashioned way.

We have until Friday, February 3 to make urge our legislators to end workplace bullying, but the sooner you call or email, the more legislators we can ultimately reach.

Thank you for your part in helping to end workplace bullying.