Category: Schedule

Your calls to ask for support for workplace anti-bullying legislation are working

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Your calls to your Massachusetts State Senators are working. In the last few days, these 12 senators signed onto Senator Paul Feeney’s Senate Budget Amendment #23 to make severe cases of workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts (including Senator Paul Feeney, that’s more than one third of the entire State Senate). Note the six supporters who’ve never signed onto this bill in the past, including two Republicans, all thanks to your efforts:

Senator William N. Brownsberger (D-Boston)
Senator Julian Cyr (D-Cape and Islands)
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Middlesex and Suffolk)
Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Worcester and Norfolk)
Senator Cindy Friedman (D-4th Middlesex)
Senator Anne Gobi (D-Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex)
Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Shrewsbury)
Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Plymouth and Norfolk)
Senator Walter Timilty (D-Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth)
Senator James T. Welch (D-Hampden)

If your State Senator is listed above, we have your Senator’s official support.

Here’s who’s left to urge to sign onto this amendment:

Senator Michael J. Barrett (D-3rd Middlesex)
Senator Joseph A. Boncore (D-1st Suffolk and Middlesex)
Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton)*
Senator Harriette Chandler (D-1st Worcester)
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-2nd Suffolk)*
Senator Nick Collins (D-Boston)
Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-1st Middlesex and Norfolk)
Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn)
Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth and Barnstable)
Senator Adam G. Hinds (D-Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden)
Senator Donald F. Humason, Jr. (R-Westfield)*
Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-2nd Middlesex)
Senator John Keenan (D-Norfolk and Plymouth)
Senator Eric Lesser (D-1st Hampden and Hampshire)
Senator Jason Lewis (D-5th Middlesex)
Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Peabody)*
Senator Mark Montigny (D-2nd Bristol and Plymouth)
Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-1st Essex)
Senator Marc Pacheco (D-1st Plymouth and Bristol)
Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-1st Bristol and Plymouth)
Senator Richard Ross (R-Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex)
Senator Michael F. Rush (D-Norfolk and Suffolk)
Senator Karen Spilka (D-2nd Middlesex and Norfolk)
Senator Bruce Tarr (R-1st Essex and Middlesex)
Senator Dean Tran (R-Worcester and Middlesex)

*Denotes past co-sponsor.
Here’s how you can help

It’s up to each of us to ensure protections for employees who will go through the torment at work we went through. We need your help to create a groundswell throughout every part of the Commonwealth to say STOP to bullying at work.

For those who’ve contacted your legislators about this bill, we thank you and ask you to take action again by making this specific request.

Respectful and dignified work environments start at the top. #ItStartsWithUs

PS — Join the Senate budget discussion online by using #SenBudget on Facebook and Twitter showing your support of Senate Budget Amendment #23 to make severe cases of workplace bullying illegal. Watch the feed while Senate budget discussions happen.

Want to spread the word? Forward this email or download the flyer.

Learn about what workplace bullying is »
Like us on Facebook »

PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of the Boston Globe
The LA Times
Truthout

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With workplace bullying in the Senate, it’s time for Massachusetts legislators to take a stand

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The Senate Committee on Ethics on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 released its report concerning Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg and concluded that Rosenberg had ample evidence of workplace harassment but failed to remedy it for those who depended on him: his own staff, his fellow Senators and their staff, and ultimately his constituents, Commonwealth employees, and the people of the Commonwealth. Had workplace bullying without regard to protected class been illegal, Senate staff could have had clear and safe recourse to protect themselves from Rosenberg’s negligence that emboldened his husband’s toxic behavior — leading ultimately to threats, racial comments, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and costs to taxpayers through a thorough investigation.

Given legal protections from workplace bullying, staff would have been able to seek help when Rosenberg:

  • Failed to uphold the IT policy he didn’t read by giving his husband, who exhibited bullying behavior, full access to his email account — and asking his staff to do the same even when they expressed discomfort.
  • Excused his husband’s bullying behavior as “mental health issues” once he was aware of the harassment and concerned about where it might lead.
  • Emboldened the bullying behavior by continuing to inform his husband of Senate matters despite his husband’s prior harassment of staff.

Workplace bullying occurs in workplace cultures where leadership at the top allows it to happen. Rosenberg supported a bully culture by:

  • Exempting himself from Senate policies.
  • Failing to protect staff by excusing unethical and dangerous behavior.
  • Continuing to give a known bully access to tools that furthered his bullying.
  • Failing to implement a workplace bullying policy and to empower Human Resource staff to uphold it.

Had workplace bullying been illegal, Rosenberg’s staff could have felt safe to do their jobs in a respectful and dignified work environment. They would have had a clear and safe path to report violations of a workplace bullying policy and would have likely prevented Rosenberg’s husband from escalating his abusive behavior.

Now that they know their own policies fail to create a workplace free from harassment and its destructive consequences, Senators can:

In the words of the Senate Committee on Ethics, when leaders have evidence and fail to act in support of those who depend on them, “the most obvious sanction for a failure of leadership would be the loss of the relevant leadership position.”

Respectful and dignified work environments start at the top.

#ItStartsWithUs

Urgent Action: to make workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts, ask your State Senator to sign onto this Budget Amendment

JumpingOverHurdle

With three months left in the legislative session, our new lead sponsor Senator Paul Feeney has added the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill as an amendment to the budget. In the next two weeks, we’re looking to flood our State Senators with phone calls and emails asking them to sign onto this amendment, Budget Amendment #23.

Here’s how you can help:

It’s up to each of us to ensure protections for employees who will go through the torment at work we went through. We need your help to create a groundswell throughout every part of the Commonwealth to say STOP to bullying at work.

For those who’ve contacted your legislators about this bill, we thank you and ask you to take action again by making this specific request.

Want to spread the word? Forward this email or download the flyer.

Learn about what workplace bullying is »
Like us on Facebook »

PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of the Boston Globe
The LA Times
Truthout

Become part of the 10 percent — and change the course of history

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Author of The Bully’s Trap Andrew Faas gave this commencement address in June 2011. Keep his thoughts in mind as we make an announcement soon about action we’re taking in the Senate to move the bill forward in the State House — action we need your help with:

By many standards, I have lived a charmed a successful life. Like everyone, there have been setbacks, challenges, and personal tragedies, all of which helped define who I am and what I stand for.

Six years ago, being diagnosed with leukemia and given a life sentence was one of those challenges.

Were it not for a miracle drug, which turned what was a fatal condition to a chronic one, I would be dead today. This experience forced me to reflect on my reason for being, and discovering that, notwithstanding the success enjoyed, there was a void, which was, really, having made a difference. What was missing was lack of purpose.

Today, my life is full of purpose, reflected in part through my philanthropy but, to a greater extent, it is putting a stop to what I believe to be an epidemic—bullying in the workplace.

There is no need for me to explain what bullying is and the devastating impact it has, other than to say bullying in schools shares many characteristics with bullying in the workplace. As there are similarities, there are also differences. The most significant is that the tactics are subtler and there are fewer avenues for people to exit from the situation.

Bullies are masters of deflection. Usually they discredit their targets until the targets become the villains. They “kiss up and kick down.” Because they are viewed as high performers, they are treated like heroes who garner more credibility than the target.

In analyzing the demise of companies such as Enron, AIG, and Lehman Brothers, a common characteristic was that their CEOs were also CBOs—Chief Bullying Officers.

The global financial meltdown could have been avoided had people in the know reported wrongdoings. They did not, largely for fear of being retaliated against. In most cases, whistleblowers are viewed as traitors and subject to bullying as punishment for their treason.

Bullying has always occurred, however, it shames me to say that, largely because of greed, my generation has systematically created dictatorial leadership, where fear substitutes for motivation and positive leadership.

We have allowed tyranny and domination to dictate the culture in which we work.

This is the sad legacy that my generation leaves to you.

For us it cannot be a question of “Can it be stopped?” It must be an assertion: “It must be stopped.” For it to be eliminated, everyone has a role to play.

Everyone graduating today will, at some point, become a bully, and/or be bullied and/or be a bystander.

If history is any indicator, only a small percent of you will become defenders of those who are bullied.

Where there has been genocide, which is the most extreme form of bullying, only a small percent of the population became witnesses and defenders of those who were targeted. Had the small percent been a mere 10 percent, the course of history would have had a different outcome.

The revolutions in the Middle East, with the overthrow of tyranny, is proof positive that the course of history can be changed, and serves as an inspiration to have the small percent become 10 percent.

Over your career, you will be faced with choices. The most difficult ones for you will be whether or not to be a witness and defender of those who are targeted, becoming part of the 10 percent.

This choice involves risk and requires courage. The risks of being a witness and defender are obvious. However, in making the risk assessment, consider the risk of not being that witness and defender.

Consider never having to say, “I could have prevented the ruin of my coworker’s career.”

Consider never having to say, “I could have prevented the break up of a family unit.”

Consider never having to say, “I could have helped avoid the demise of an organization.”

Consider never having to say, “I could have prevented a suicide or attempted suicide.”

Consider never having to say, “I could have prevented someone going postal and killing others.”

Mahatma Gandhi put it so well when he declared, “It is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honour, his religion, his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire’s fall or its regeneration.”

While this choice involves risk, it also yields rewards, the greatest of which is strengthening your sense of self, helping to make right what is wrong, and making the lives of others free and safe from the ravages of tyranny.

By becoming part of that 10 percent, you can change the course of history.

URGENT: Contact your State Senator to write to Senate Ways & Means to move workplace anti-bullying legislation forward

WalkingUpHands

After the resignation of the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill Lead Sponsor Senator Jennifer Flanagan, the new Senator Paul Feeney has stepped forward to champion this bill through the remainder of the two-year legislative session. We’ve recently found out that the bill has landed in Senate Ways & Means. With only three months remaining in this session, we’re looking to ask our State Senators to write to Senate Ways & Means Chair Karen Spilka to ask her to make the bill a priority.

How to schedule a meeting with your State Senator

  1. Call your State Senator and ask whoever answers the phone for the email address of the scheduler so you can schedule a meeting with your State Senator. 
  2. Email the scheduler to setup a meeting either in local office hours or at the State House as soon as possible. This step is huge. Some of you have asked why we’re not doing more at the State House as a group. The answer is simple: since our legislators care about getting their constituents’ votes in the next election, it’s most effective for us individually to meet with our own legislators one-on-one when it’s convenient for us. We’ve learned major insights from advocates after meetings with their legislators. Showing up as a group to legislators’ offices without an appointment simply isn’t as effective.
  3. Bring the flyers listed on this page with you to your meeting and summarize your workplace bullying story with your State Senator. Keep your State Senator armed with the facts and ask him or her to ask Senate Ways & Means Chair Karen Spilka to move the bill forward.
  4. Pass insights about their concerns onto us. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

If you absolutely can’t meet with your State Senator, we ask you to do one of these two tasks (or both) in the next two weeks:

It’s up to each of us to make time to ensure protections for employees who will go through the torment at work we went through. We need your help to create a groundswell throughout every part of the Commonwealth to say STOP to bullying at work.

For those who’ve met with your legislators, we thank you and ask you to nudge them again while the bill is on their turf.

Learn about what workplace bullying is »
Like us on Facebook »

PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of the Boston Globe
The LA Times
Truthout

Workplace anti-bullying legislation takes a step forward in Massachusetts

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We’ve recently received word that the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development gave the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013, a favorable report. Since the bill is a Senate Bill this session, the bill moves to the Senate instead of the House, where it landed in past sessions.

Five months left

We only have five months remaining in this two-year session, which means that while we wait to see where in the Senate the bill lands, we encourage you to put the pressure on your State Senators only (once the bill moves to the House, we’ll put pressure on our State Reps again):

  1. Call your State Senator and ask whoever answers the phone for the email address of the scheduler so you can schedule a meeting with your State Senator. 
  2. Email the scheduler to setup a meeting either in local office hours or at the State House as soon as possible. This step is huge. Some of you have asked why we’re not doing more at the State House as a group. Well, the answer is simple: we’re all volunteers trying to push this bill outside of our full-time jobs and other responsibilities, and since our legislators care about getting their constituents’ votes in the next election, it’s most effective for us individually to meet with our own legislators one-on-one when it’s convenient for us. We’ve learned major insights from advocates after meetings with their legislators. Showing up as a group to legislators’ offices without an appointment simply isn’t as effective.
  3. Bring the flyers listed on this page with you to your meeting and summarize your workplace bullying story with your State Senator. Keep your State Senator armed with the facts, and ask him or her to put urgency on Senate leadership to bring the bill to a floor vote.
  4. Pass insights about their concerns onto us. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

It’s up to each of us to make time to ensure protections for employees who will go through the torment at work we went through. We need your help to create a groundswell throughout every part of the Commonwealth to say STOP to bullying at work. For those who’ve met with your legislators, we thank you and ask you to nudge them again while the bill is on their turf.

THIS WEEK: Take action to help make  workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts

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We have word that Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Chairs Jason Lewis and Paul Brodeur are currently in intense conversation on the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill and are optimistic of it moving onto next steps: the Senate. The chairs are still accepting written testimony on this bill this week. 

(The committee has until February 10 to make decisions on all bills put before them, so we’re asking you to act this week while they’re discussing the bill so there’s time for them to act.)

Who influences these two legislators the most?
Our state legislators’ voices.

Who influences our state legislators?
We do.

The committee heads need to know that your OWN legislators support them moving the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013, forward. And our voices have the most impact on our own legislators because they want our votes in the next election.

Senator Lewis and Rep. Brodeur also want to hear from us directly.

With only six months left in the two-year legislative session, they need to know THIS WEEK that our collective voices are louder than business opposition before time runs out to complete the rest of the steps to turn this bill into law. We need as many voices as possible THIS WEEK while they’re discussing the bill to send a clear message to our state legislators that workplace bullying destroys lives — and we want change.

Here’s what you can do to help move this bill forward at this stage:

  1. Call your State Rep AND State Senator to ask them to ask Senator Lewis and Rep. Brodeur to move forward the bill, now Senate Bill 1013, an act relative to workplace bullying and mobbing without regard to protected class.
  2. Draft your story in one page (see tips below).
  3. Email your story to your legislator using our easy tool or email. If you email, ask your legislator to cc you on the email he or she sends to Senator Lewis or Rep. Brodeur or to forward you a copy afterwards. Then forward that message to us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com so we know who supports the bill.
  4. Repeat the process for calling AND emailing for Senator Jason Lewis and Rep. Paul Brodeur.

How to draft your story:
Stick to the facts and keep it brief. Write up a one-page summary of what happened to you or someone you know:

  1. In one sentence, open with who you are, where you worked, and what you did for work.
  2. In one paragraph, paint a picture of your experience using facts (briefly describing how you felt as professionally as possible while still using emotional detail).
  3. In one paragraph, describe how your employer reacted (or didn’t react). Did they ignore you? Retaliate?
  4. In one paragraph, describe the toll your experience took on you, especially your physical and financial health. Did you experience anxiety, loss of sleep, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder? How much did you lose in therapy costs, medication costs? Did your experience cost you a marriage, a home loss, high medical expenses, legal expenses?
  5. In one paragraph, describe how the experience left an impact on the organization. Roughly how many sick days did you need to take? Emphasize that costs are also associated with hiring and training a replacement employee.

We thank you again for your work on making employee rights a priority in Massachusetts. Please forward this message to others who may have experienced workplace bullying or who know your story and can tell it from a witness standpoint in support of the bill.

Learn about what workplace bullying is »
Like us on Facebook »

PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of the Boston Globe
The LA Times
Truthout