Tagged: 1771

Why 80 days is so important to holding workplace bullies accountable


Our voices are getting louder and stronger, and it’s more important now than ever to keep the momentum going with only 80 days left in the two-year legislative session.

Anti-workplace bullying advocates aren’t stopping.

Anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill author David Yamada points to three reasons for building our momentum:

  • We’ve put a label on it. We’re using the same language – “workplace bullying” – to describe the abuse at work.
  • There’s more media coverage. Reporters cover more stories, and targets make more comments, validating others and creating a ripple effect for more targets to feel safe speaking out.
  • The Healthy Workplace Bill campaign has brought attention to workplace bullying. The opportunity for targets to speak with their legislators brings even more focus on workplace bullying and its harm to targets and businesses.

Where we’re going
It’s taken only ten years to go from almost zero discussion of workplace bullying to where we are today. We have a lot to celebrate. But we’re not stopping. With 80 days remaining in the legislative session, we’re focusing on two main courses of action:


While we need your help, remember that you can help in any way you see fit (or in any of the ways we’ve listed on your website). You can choose to not go public with your story or otherwise attach your name to the cause but anonymously post comments on online articles. You might also decide that you’re not ready to help at all, and that’s perfectly ok.

But if you’re ready and able, we need all hands on deck in the next 80 days to pass this bill in Massachusetts. Not a single person trying to pass this bill is getting paid for their efforts, meaning that each and every advocate is working out of their sense of personal responsibility for passing the bill. We’re taking initiative to bring our strengths to a greater cause in this newer, growing public topic. Email us with what skills you can bring to the table.

Let’s make 2016 a year for the history books. We’re in a position to be the first state in the nation to have workplace bullying protections for ALL employees – not just public ones. Let’s make it happen.

Extended until Friday, April 22: Anti-workplace bullying exhibit at the Massachusetts State House


Those who visit the State House 4th floor will see the faces of fourteen workplace bullying targets and their powerful stories in “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying,” now running through Friday, April 22.

Research shows bully bosses target the most successful employees out of envy for their skills and ethics. This abuse comes at a proven cost to every state’s economy.

Advocate and exhibit manager Torii Bottomley

Bring your State Rep to the exhibit
If you view the exhibit at the State House, call beforehand to set up an appointment to meet with your State Rep or his or her aide to ask him or her to help make the Healthy Workplace Bill (H 1771), a priority. Bring him or her to view the exhibit. Ask your Rep for help with contacting Chairman of Bills & Third Reading Theodore Speliotis to ask him to release House Bill 1771 for Third Reading.

Going on tour to spread the word about workplace bullying
Torii is booking locations across Massachusetts for the art display. Email Torii at toriiannbottomley@gmail.com if you know of a contact at any of these locations recommended on by our advocates or another suitable location:

  • Boston City Hall
  • Boston Public Library
  • A college anywhere in the state
  • MA DOT Outside Advertising Agency


Contact your Massachusetts State Reps before this Wednesday, January 6 to make workplace bullying illegal

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.43.41 AM

The anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill could be up for a floor vote as soon as this Wednesday, January 6, according to the House Calendar under the Deadlines tab. (We have only until July 2016 to get this bill passed.)

After the holiday break, we want to remind our State Reps that we’d like them to vote favorably on the Healthy Workplace Bill.

  1. Choose from one of two template letters to email to your rep and modify it or write your own letter asking your rep to support the Healthy Workplace Bill, H. 1771.
  2. Use this link to find your State Rep’s email address (listed as the “House” legislator).

This step is the major hurdle in the legislative process, and your contact to your State Rep makes a big difference. Find out more about the steps for a bill to become law in Massachusetts.

Let’s get this bill passed!

What we need to do before 2016


The 2015 House session just ended, so we expect the Healthy Workplace Bill (H. 1771) to go to a floor vote in the House in early 2016. We have a few weeks in between sessions to keep the pressure on our State Reps to support the bill.

What we need to do before 2016
While some legislators may wait to support the bill once they read the final bill language right before the House vote, it’s still important to let them know you support the bill:

  1. Choose from one of two template letters to email to your rep and modify it or write your own letter asking your rep to support the Healthy Workplace Bill, H. 1771.
  2. Use this link to find your State Rep’s email address (listed as the “House” legislator).

Don’t forget to spread the word about the bill to family, friends, and colleagues so we can help combat workplace bullying.

When the Healthy Workplace Bill will go up for a vote

7K0A0879Many of you have asked us when exactly the Healthy Workplace Bill goes up for a vote. The short answer is: any day now. We’re #79 on the House Calendar, and each week, the number simply moves up the list.

We’re hoping for a majority vote on the House so the bill will move onto the Senate. At that point, the Healthy Workplace Bill will pass a major hurdle and reach a historic point. But we can’t get the bill there without your help.

What we need you to do
If you haven’t yet contacted your State Rep, it’s not too late. Follow these steps as soon as possible to ensure your State Rep understands the bill by the time he or she votes on it:

  1. Choose from one of two template letters to email to your rep and modify it or write your own letter asking your rep to support the Healthy Workplace Bill, H. 1771.
  2. Use this link to find your State Rep’s email address.

Get others to do the same
Share this post on Facebook or Twitter or forward a link to your family, friends, former coworkers, and current colleagues so we can get this bill passed.

Thank you again to those who’ve already sent an email to your State Rep. Even one email is considered the equivalent of the voices of as many as 15 constituents, so know that your voice counts.

Why organization endorsement helps us grow — and what we can do to get more

7K0A0523Official endorsement from organizations helps us in two major ways:

  • Endorsement gives us validity. If someone sees backing by a powerful group or a group they respect, they’re more likely to see the bill as acceptable and worthy and jump on board.
  • Endorsement means access to many more supporters. When a group endorses the bill, we keep correspondence with our contacts, and they communicate with their members the need to push the bill at key times in the legislative process. Their members also join our contact lists directly, and we can communicate with them directly at the same times.

What we’ve already done
We’ve obtained official endorsement from 16 organizations — including the Massachusetts Teachers Association and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice. While we’re at such a key point in the legislative process of going up for a floor vote in the House, it’s prime time to reach out to more organizations to ask for their official endorsement.

We’ve tried a huge mailing to unions and other organizations whose members would be most likely to endorse the Healthy Workplace Bill. Now we’d like to focus on your individual contacts.

We need your help this week
Do you know someone in any of the following organizations or any similar organizations not listed? Can you contact them this week and ask for their official endorsement that they can email to info@mahealthyworkplace.com?

When you reach out to any of the following organizations, feel free to use one of these template letters and add that 1/3 of the State Legislature and 16 organizations including the Massachusetts Teachers Association have officially supported the Healthy Workplace Bill in Massachusetts. Emphasize that we’re up for a floor vote in the House any day now and that their support will give power to our cause.

The groups we need help contacting
Disability groups:
Disability Law Center of Massachusetts

Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (affiliated with UMASS Lowell)
Massachusetts Association of School Committees

Employment groups:

General civil rights groups:
City of Quincy Human Rights Commission

GLBTQ groups:
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) (Lee Swislow)
Join the Impact Massachusetts
Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition
Rainbow Law

Legal groups:
Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (MASSNELA)
Women’s Bar Association

Mental health groups:
Dorchester House
Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (Elizabeth K. Englander and Theresa Enos – Bridgewater State)
Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (Diana & Paul Lewis – East Longmeadow)
Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association
Massachusetts Psychological Association
Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services of The Berkshires (Peggy Morse)
National Association of Social Workers
Riverside Trauma Center (Larry Berkowitz – Needham)

Nurses groups:
Massachusetts Nurses Association

Union groups:

Women’s groups:
Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (BWHBC)

Civil rights groups
Colleges and universities
Employment lawyers
GLBTQ groups
K-12 schools
Law schools
Legal groups
Mental health groups
Nurses organizations
Small business associations

Have more ideas?
Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com to let us know about other groups that you feel would be great to reach out to but for which you don’t have a contact.

Is there a connection between having a bully boss and having a bully parent?

7K0A0075Charming and often adored, the Kiss-Up/Kick-Down (KU/KD) person goes out of her way to praise those in higher positions. But if you have a lower ranking to her, watch out. You will be kicked down, or on the receiving end of negativity and blame.

In the blog post “Understanding the Psychology of the Kiss-Up/Kick Down Leader,” Dr. Terry Portis says that “the KU/KD person was likely raised by an authoritarian parent, thus molding how they interact with fellow people in authority, and those who are under their authority. Unfortunately, the KU/KD person also gravitates towards positions of authority, thus spreading their influence.”

In reading Portis’ personality symptoms of the KU/KD leader, a few stood out:

  • Power is based on fear rather than respect.
  • These leaders distort information.
  • They also blame problems on character flaws of the dependents.

“They do not allow anyone to challenge them, and they despise admitting mistakes. In fact, if you are questioning their decisions or behavior, they have already put a plan in motion to whisper about your own competency or value to the company or organization,” says Portis.

Sound familiar?
Power-hungry, manipulative, lacking accountability, and badmouthing. Sounds like a typical workplace bully, right? But is there more to it? How many of us have at least one parent who fits the mold of being raised by an authoritarian parent and who likes power, manipulates, lacks accountability, and badmouths? Is it possible that bully bosses might be our comfort zones?

While workplace bullying is in its infancy in terms of research, there may be more insights to be gained about workplace bullying by looking at our own family dynamics and understanding where bullying comes from, how bullies develop, and how many can simply accept bullying rather than question it.

In the meantime, it’s a no-brainer that we need a law protecting employees from workplace bullying that results in mental health issues. The Healthy Workplace Bill is about to go to the House floor in Massachusetts. Urge your State rep to support the Healthy Workplace Bill to make workplaces safe for everyone by Wednesday, November 11.