Category: Uncategorized

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

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

“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.

TODAY: Speak or show your support at the hearing to move workplace abuse legislation forward

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At 1pm today, we’ll testify in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development:

Tuesday, June 25
1pm
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):
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” 

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:
Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov
(617) 722-1578
Aide: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov

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:
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/

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

Senate Members:

CHAIR: Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville)Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1578 (aide: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov)
VICE CHAIR: Senator Jason Lewis (D-Melrose)Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1206 (aide: Dennis Burke, dennis.burke@masenate.gov)
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett)Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1650 (aide: Christopher Smith, christopher.smith@masenate.gov)
Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy)John.Keenan@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1494 (scheduler: Doreen Bargoot, doreen.bargoot@masenate.gov, and aide: Abigail Kim, abigail.kim@masenate.gov)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Worcester)Michael.Moore@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1485 (aide: Shelly MacNeill, shelly.macneill@masenate.gov)
Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Scituate)Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1646 (aide: Gregory Denton, gregory.denton@masenate.gov)

House Members:
CHAIR: Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2013 (aide: Patrick Prendergast, patrick.prendergast@mahouse.gov)
VICE CHAIR: Rep. Stephan Hay (D-Fitchburg)Stephan.Hay@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2220 (aide: Megan Pierce, megan.pierce@mahouse.gov)
Rep. John Barrett III (D-Adams)john.barrett@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2305
Rep. Gerard Cassidy (D-Brockton)Gerard.Cassidy@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2396 (aide: Bridget Plouffe, bridget.plouffe@mahouse.gov)
Rep. William Crocker (R-Barnstable)William.Crocker@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2014 (aide: Kaitlin Wright, kaitlin.wright@mahouse.gov)
Rep. Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro)james.hawkins@mahouse.gov, (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)joseph.mckenna@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2060 (aide: Lori Burrows, lori.burrows@mahouse.gov)
Rep. David Allen Robertson (D-Wilmington)david.robertson@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2210
Rep. Steve Ultrino (D-Malden)Steven.Ultrino@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2460 (aide: Sarah Gonsenhauser, sarah.gonsenhauser@mahouse.gov)
Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol)Susannah.Whipps@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2090 (aide: Missi Eaton, melissa.eaton@mahouse.gov)

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, jonah.beckley@masenate.gov)


Want to spread the word? Forward this email or download the flyer.Learn about what workplace abuse 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 Boston Globe (Spotlight reporter)
The LA Times
Truthout
Redbook

Tomorrow: Speak or show your support at the hearing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tomorrow, we’ll testify in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development:

Tuesday, June 25
1pm
Massachusetts State House, room B-2


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 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, 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 (copes for each legislator):
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” 

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 law, 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:
Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov
(617) 722-1578
Aide: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov

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:
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/
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

Senate Members:

CHAIR: Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville)Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1578 (aide: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov)
VICE CHAIR: Senator Jason Lewis (D-Melrose)Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1206 (aide: Dennis Burke, dennis.burke@masenate.gov)
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett)Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1650 (aide: Christopher Smith, christopher.smith@masenate.gov)
Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy)John.Keenan@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1494 (scheduler: Doreen Bargoot, doreen.bargoot@masenate.gov, and aide: Abigail Kim, abigail.kim@masenate.gov)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Worcester)Michael.Moore@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1485 (aide: Shelly MacNeill, shelly.macneill@masenate.gov)
Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Scituate)Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1646 (aide: Gregory Denton, gregory.denton@masenate.gov)

House Members:
CHAIR: Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2013 (aide: Patrick Prendergast, patrick.prendergast@mahouse.gov)
VICE CHAIR: Rep. Stephan Hay (D-Fitchburg)Stephan.Hay@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2220 (aide: Megan Pierce, megan.pierce@mahouse.gov)
Rep. John Barrett III (D-Adams)john.barrett@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2305
Rep. Gerard Cassidy (D-Brockton)Gerard.Cassidy@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2396 (aide: Bridget Plouffe, bridget.plouffe@mahouse.gov)
Rep. William Crocker (R-Barnstable)William.Crocker@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2014 (aide: Kaitlin Wright, kaitlin.wright@mahouse.gov)
Rep. Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro)james.hawkins@mahouse.gov, (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)joseph.mckenna@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2060 (aide: Lori Burrows, lori.burrows@mahouse.gov)
Rep. David Allen Robertson (D-Wilmington)david.robertson@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2210
Rep. Steve Ultrino (D-Malden)Steven.Ultrino@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2460 (aide: Sarah Gonsenhauser, sarah.gonsenhauser@mahouse.gov)
Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol)Susannah.Whipps@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2090 (aide: Missi Eaton, melissa.eaton@mahouse.gov)

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, jonah.beckley@masenate.gov)

NEXT TUESDAY! Speak or show your support at the hearing to move workplace abuse legislation forward

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next Tuesday, we’ll testify in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce DevelopmentNote the newly announced location:

Tuesday, June 25
1pm
Massachusetts State House, room B-2


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 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, 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 (copes for each legislator):
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” 

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 law, 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:
Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov
(617) 722-1578
Aide: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov

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:
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/

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

Senate Members:

CHAIR: Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville)Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1578 (aide: Mark Martinez, mark.martinez@masenate.gov)
VICE CHAIR: Senator Jason Lewis (D-Melrose)Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1206 (aide: Dennis Burke, dennis.burke@masenate.gov)
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett)Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1650 (aide: Christopher Smith, christopher.smith@masenate.gov)
Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy)John.Keenan@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1494 (scheduler: Doreen Bargoot, doreen.bargoot@masenate.gov, and aide: Abigail Kim, abigail.kim@masenate.gov)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Worcester)Michael.Moore@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1485 (aide: Shelly MacNeill, shelly.macneill@masenate.gov)
Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Scituate)Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1646 (aide: Gregory Denton, gregory.denton@masenate.gov)

House Members:
CHAIR: Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)Paul.Brodeur@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2013 (aide: Patrick Prendergast, patrick.prendergast@mahouse.gov)
VICE CHAIR: Rep. Stephan Hay (D-Fitchburg)Stephan.Hay@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2220 (aide: Megan Pierce, megan.pierce@mahouse.gov)
Rep. John Barrett III (D-Adams)john.barrett@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2305
Rep. Gerard Cassidy (D-Brockton)Gerard.Cassidy@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2396 (aide: Bridget Plouffe, bridget.plouffe@mahouse.gov)
Rep. William Crocker (R-Barnstable)William.Crocker@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2014 (aide: Kaitlin Wright, kaitlin.wright@mahouse.gov)
Rep. Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro)james.hawkins@mahouse.gov, (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)joseph.mckenna@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2060 (aide: Lori Burrows, lori.burrows@mahouse.gov)
Rep. David Allen Robertson (D-Wilmington)david.robertson@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2210
Rep. Steve Ultrino (D-Malden)Steven.Ultrino@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2460 (aide: Sarah Gonsenhauser, sarah.gonsenhauser@mahouse.gov)
Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol)Susannah.Whipps@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2090 (aide: Missi Eaton, melissa.eaton@mahouse.gov)

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, jonah.beckley@masenate.gov)