At 1pm today, we’ll testify in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development:
Tuesday, June 25
Massachusetts State House, room B-1 (note room change)
This hearing is public. If you plan to testify or simply want to show up in support, you’re welcome and encouraged to be there so we can fill the room. It will likely be hours long and standing room only. (If you will attend but not testify but would still like to submit testimony, we ask you to email your testimony to the list of Joint Committee members and their staffers below.)
If you plan to testify, arrive before 1pm to sign in.
If you’re part of an organization, encourage your members to attend so we can fill the room.
How to testify
If you’d like to tell your story, draft your story in one page:
Where did you work and what did you do?
How did the abuse 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 abuse legislation to pass?
What advice do you have for others going through abuse at work?
Dos and don’ts of speaking at the hearing
DO speak about your experience. Speak from the heart about how workplace abuse affected you, especially how it harmed your health and affected your personal relationships. Remember that legislators want to hear from you.
DO keep your testimony to under two minutes. By the end of the hours-long hearing, legislators may be tired. The last thing we want to do is turn them off, so stick to the facts and to your own experience and keep it brief. It’s difficult to summarize months or years of abuse into two minutes, but it’s important to do so.
DO stick to our talking points. Refresh yourself on the main points we want to get across:Accountability, not just training or company policy, is what will change behavior.There will be a high threshold for recovery.The bill is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s definition of a hostile work environment for sexual harassment.The bill enters the picture only when the abusive behaviors have become severe and harmful.Employers can minimize their liability exposure by acting preventively and responsively toward abuse.The bill focuses on addressing the abusive behavior, not killing jobs. (Many targets already lose jobs, choosing their health over daily suffering.)
DO visit your state rep and senator that day. Before or after the hearing, stop by your legislators’ offices and ask them to write to Committee Chair Pat Jehlen in support of the Senate Bill 1072, the Healthy Workplace Bill. That’s one state rep and one state senator. Try to make an appointment with them beforehand. If you can only speak with an aide, do that. Aides will pass along information to legislators. The State House is hard to navigate, so write down the State House room numbers before that day, bring them with you, and don’t be afraid to ask someone how to get to those offices. Bring these fact sheets and article with you (copies for each legislator):
LA Times article: “To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying”
DO email the fact sheets to your legislators if you can’t make it that day. Your legislators want to hear from you.
DON’T mention bully’s names or workplaces — unless asked. The goal is to pass the bill, not to out a boss or workplace.
DON’T feel like you have to testify to show support. If you’re not ready to speak under two minutes about your experience, don’t feel obligated to speak. You may not be ready, and that’s ok. Showing your support by attending is much appreciated whether or not you speak.
|Find out who your State Rep and State Senator are|
Let’s keep the pressure on
In the meantime, let’s keep pressure on members of the committee. 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 put pressure on the committee members, especially Senate Chair Pat Jehlen of Medford, Somerville, Cambridge wards 9 to 11, and Winchester, precincts 4 to 7:
Aide: Mark Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org
We can educate Senator Jehlen and Mark Martinez 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 directly.
Legislators care most about what their own constituents want so they can get re-elected, so we ask you to meet with your legislator if he or she is on this committee (members are listed below). If you can’t meet with your legislator:
Call your own legislator if he or she is on the list below. Tell whoever answers the phone “I’m calling to ask _____ to urge Senator Pat Jehlen to move Senate Bill 1072, an act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and harassment, without regard to protected class status, forward. The lead sponsor is Senator Paul Feeney.” They may ask you your name and address.
Followup with an email. Tell the legislator why you want him or her to urge Senator Pat Jehlen to move Senate Bill 1072 forward and why you want the bill to pass. Include links to these flyers to explain the bill and the full text of the bill:
LA Times article: “To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying”
Ask others who live in their districts to do the same. (Find out if someone is in a legislator’s district.)
Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
CHAIR: Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville), Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1578 (aide: Mark Martinez, email@example.com)
VICE CHAIR: Senator Jason Lewis (D-Melrose), Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1206 (aide: Dennis Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1650 (aide: Christopher Smith, email@example.com)
Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy), John.Keenan@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1494 (scheduler: Doreen Bargoot, firstname.lastname@example.org, and aide: Abigail Kim, email@example.com)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Worcester), Michael.Moore@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1485 (aide: Shelly MacNeill, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Scituate), Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1646 (aide: Gregory Denton, email@example.com)
CHAIR: Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose), Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2013 (aide: Patrick Prendergast, firstname.lastname@example.org)
VICE CHAIR: Rep. Stephan Hay (D-Fitchburg), Stephan.Hay@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2220 (aide: Megan Pierce, email@example.com)
Rep. John Barrett III (D-Adams), firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 722-2305
Rep. Gerard Cassidy (D-Brockton), Gerard.Cassidy@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2396 (aide: Bridget Plouffe, email@example.com)
Rep. William Crocker (R-Barnstable), William.Crocker@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2014 (aide: Kaitlin Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro), email@example.com, (617) 722-2013
Rep. Liz Malia (D-Boston), Liz.Malia@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2380 (scheduler: Natalie Kaufman, natalie.kaufman@mahouse. gov)
Rep. Joseph McKenna (R-Douglas), firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 722-2060 (aide: Lori Burrows, email@example.com)
Rep. David Allen Robertson (D-Wilmington), firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 722-2210
Rep. Steve Ultrino (D-Malden), Steven.Ultrino@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2460 (aide: Sarah Gonsenhauser, email@example.com)
Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol), Susannah.Whipps@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2090 (aide: Missi Eaton, firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you live in Senate President Karen Spilka’s district (Ashland), we ask you to do the same:
Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov, 617-722-1500 (aide: Jonah Beckley, email@example.com)
Want to spread the word? Forward this email or download the flyer.Learn about what workplace abuse is »
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PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe (Spotlight reporter)
The LA Times