Tagged: Face Workplace Bullying

How we made waves this legislative session and what our next steps are

Advocate Torii Bottomley speaks with another advocate at the “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” display at the State House.

Legislation usually takes multiple sessions to pass. As the 2015-16 legislative session closes, let’s take some time to reflect on how we progressed the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill this session:

  • Third Reading. The bill made it to a Third Reading in the House – a major accomplishment given the thousands of bills introduced each session. The Third Reading is a major milestone in the process. Once the bill reaches a favorable vote in the House Third Reading in future sessions, we have a great shot at getting the bill passed.
  • Legislative sponsors. We gained a record 58 sponsors this session, up from 39 in the previous session and 13 in the prior session thanks to your calls, emails, and visits to legislators.
  • Advocacy. The State House debut of Torii Bottomley’s “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” jumpstarted a flurry of activity. Advocates protested in Ashburton Place, Harvard Square, and Davis Square. They also flyered several commuter lots, including at Worcester’s Union Station, the second display of “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying.”
  • Supporters. We’re up to 20 official organizational supporters, including the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National Association of Government Employees, whose lobbyists push the bill in the State House.
  • Media. While “workplace bullying” gets more and more attention in such outlets as Alternet and Fast Company, WGBH reporter Craig LeMoult covered the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill and the “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” display this spring.
  • Opposition. “The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) — a powerful corporate lobbying presence — and a small group of ultra-conservative state legislators opposed the HWB. You know you’re making progress when the opposition comes out of hiding,” said professor and bill author David Yamada last session. An AIM executive weighed in on the bill in WGBH’s piece this session.

What’s next?
So how do we make the next session better than this one to get this bill passed?

  • Share suicide stories. School bullying didn’t become legislated in Massachusetts until tragedy struck. If you’re aware of a suicide due to workplace bullying in Massachusetts, email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com. We’ll check in with families of targets, and with their approval, let legislators know their stories and how urgent the need is for legislation.
  • Get a group of people to visit the State House to speak with legislators. Get your co-workers or former colleagues to visit legislators to ask them to support the Healthy Workplace Bill.
  • Make advocacy happen. Have an idea for advocacy? A skill? An audience? An event? A contact? Rather than question why we haven’t done an idea, realize your own power. Make it happen. We’re all volunteers using the skills we have to further the cause and make change. We need your skills and time to further change. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com with how you can help.

“So many social movements leading to legal reforms — the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the LGBT movement, to name a few — have been fueled by people who have experienced injustice and abuse,” said Yamada. If you’re ready, speak out about your workplace bullying experience to heal and help prevent others from experiencing workplace bullying if enough people stand up and legislators pass the bill. If enough of us say ENOUGH, we’ll make history and move the needle on workplace cultures just like sexual harassment law did.


Advocates protest in Harvard Square with targets, scars, and bruises on them.

Workplace bullying targets reveal what it’s like to see themselves in new exhibit

Currently producing “The Bully Culture,” documentarian Jay Fedigan just released “Face to Face with Workplace Bullying,” a compilation of reactions of workplace bullying targets who appear in the “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” photo exhibit. Through the exhibit, advocates hope to raise public awareness of workplace bullying and its effects on individuals.

Now at Worcester’s Union Station
“Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” first appeared in the Massachusetts State House in April. Advocates now bring the display to Worcester’s Union Station and will run the exhibit through Sunday, July 17.

To display the exhibit at another location, contact Torii Bottomley at toriiannbottomley@gmail.com.


(Photos courtesy of Robbin Miller.)

Make workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts
We have a little more than one month to pass anti-workplace bullying legislation in Massachusetts. After July 31, when the two-year legislative session ends, we must reintroduce the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in Massachusetts in January. We need your help to pass this bill this session before time runs out this session.

Send your State rep an email urging him or her to push the bill forward with our easy-to-use tool.

Targets take giant steps yesterday toward passing anti-workplace bullying legislation


Advocate Torii Bottomley (right) speaks with a Healthy Workplace Bill supporter while WGBH reporter Craig LeMoult and documentarian Jay Fedigan capture the conversation.


Many of the 14 brave models in advocate Torii Bottomley’s “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” display celebrated its tremendous impact on viewers at the State House yesterday.

Advocates packed the afternoon with steps to move the Healthy Workplace Bill (H 1771) forward:

  • Talks with viewers about workplace bullying and the proposed legislation.
  • Visits to legislators’ offices, including Rep. Speliotis who has the power to move the bill to a floor vote in the House before the end of the session in just a couple months.
  • A moving tribute to an advocate who recently lost her life due to health effects from workplace bullying.

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One of several inspiring comment boards at the display that shows the reach of the display and the impact on viewers.

Several advocates also held a protest outside of the state executive offices at One Ashburton Place, where many passers-by stopped to take photos. Advocates said they felt empowered by reclaiming their voice.


It’s crunch time
This two-year legislative session ends this summer, and state reps are not making the bill a priority. That’s where you come in. We urgently ask you to contact Chairman of Bills & Third Reading Theodore Speliotis (617-722-2410, Theodore.Speliotis@mahouse.gov) to ask him to release House Bill 1771 for Third Reading. (The Third Reading is a floor vote and the biggest hurdle of the entire process.)

It’s just as helpful to also contact your own rep to ask him or her to both support the bill and contact Rep. Speliotis.

Keep the momentum going
Help fund laminating, mounting, easels, and story posters for the display. Advocate and participating model Robbin Miller is spearheading a campaign to collect $800 to fund preparations needed to move the display to other high-profile locations (possibilities include Union Station in Worcester and South Station in Boston). Help make the preparations happen by mailing BY JUNE 1 a check payable to Robbin Miller for any amount you wish to:
Robbin Miller
300 West Main Street, Building B
Northborough, MA 0153

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

Advocates take workplace bullying to the small screen

We’re spreading the word about what workplace bullying is one step at a time. Advocate Robbin Miller hosted advocates Torii Bottomley and me, Deb Falzoi, on her “Miller Chat” show to educate people about what workplace bullying is and how advocates aim to create healthy workplaces through the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill.

Deb described workplace bullying and the legislation, and Torii talked about her advocacy work with New York City educators and her “Face Workplace Bullying” art display.

A new way to bring attention to workplace bullying


To build awareness for workplace bullying, advocate Torii Bottomley imagined and managed the “Massachusetts: Face Workplace Bullying” art display: 14 faces of workplace bullying targets with their moving stories. (Watch Torii’s story.)

Says Torii on the Inside Out project website:

Work shouldn’t hurt! 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. We call on the great state of Massachusetts, with a history of “firsts” in progressive legislature, to FACE WORKPLACE BULLYING. By passing the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill, the abusers, not the state, will be economically responsible for their actions!

Torii is booking locations across Massachusetts for the art display. Email Torii at toriiannbottomley@gmail.com if you know of:

A free location in your area to display 14 large posters (and a contact name and email, if you have it).

A contact at any of these locations recommended on by our advocates:

  • Boston City Hall
  • Boston Public Library
  • A college anywhere in the state
  • MA DOT Outside Advertising Agency
  • State House (Nurses Hall)

Two new ways to spread the word about workplace bullying

Advocates have been working hard to spread the word about workplace bullying. Take part in these two new ways:

Face Workplace Bullying Art Display
To commemorate International Workers’ Day on Friday, May 1, we will unveil a public art display in Boston (like http://www.insideoutproject.net/en). Submit a photo of your face and your story:
– Look straight into the camera, with a plain background, and take a picture of your face only (serious expression).
– Save your photo as: Boston_US_Torii_(your name).jpg Example: Boston_US_Torii_JaneMiller.jpg
– Submit a BRIEF summary of your story (250 words or less). We reserve the right to edit.
– Send your photo (hi-res only) and story to toriiannbottomley@gmail.com no later than MARCH 15. We want to submit a minimum of 20 portraits.

Financial Impact Survey
Take this new survey so that we can let legislators understand the financial impact to businesses at the State House hearing (date to be announced):
Take the Financial Impact Survey.

There are other ideas in the works, from flyering at events across Massachusetts to a “What is workplace bullying?” forum.

Got an idea to spread the word about workplace bullying?