Tagged: Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development

Urgent: next step in holding employers accountable for bullying employees in Massachusetts

WalkingUpHands

With only eight months left in the two-year legislative session, we met with State House legislative staff this week. They reported that citizens most frequently call in support of the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill. For that great news, we thank you.

That hard work has prompted increased opposition from retailers and business organizations. So it’s time to make a strong push for making targeted, malicious, health-endangering mistreatment of a worker by a supervisor or co-worker illegal in Massachusetts. The workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill will give severely bullied workers a right to seek damages. No longer will abused workers be left without legal protections if the bill passes.

How you can help

Legislative staff tell us the singlemost effective act we can take to stand up to business opposition is:

Scheduling a meeting with our State Rep and State Senator (they have local office hours), tell them our stories, and (here’s the crucial part) ask them to ask Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Chair Paul Brodeur to push the Senate Bill 1013 forward. We ask you to make the call to schedule your appointment in the next week. Even three or four advocates taking action on this step will make a huge difference in standing up for what’s right and pushing the bill forward.

(If you cannot meet with your legislators, call them, tell them your story, and ask them to ask Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Chair Paul Brodeur to push the Senate Bill 1013 forward.)

A template for your personal story

Who you are, where you worked, and what you did (one sentence). Use facts to paint a picture of your experience, briefly describing how you felt as professionally as possible while still using emotional detail.

My employer reacted by:

My experience has impacted me by:

In addition, the experience left an impact on the organization:

Flyers for emailing or printing for your meeting:
A summary of the bill
Myths vs. realities
We thank you again for your work on making employee rights a priority in Massachusetts.

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Make just four calls to move forward workplace anti-bullying legislation

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The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development heard our testimony in support of Senate Bill 1013, the Healthy Workplace Bill, on April 4. Now it’s time to urge them to move it forward.

We ask you to call these four committee leaders even if you’ve called them before. Tell the person who answers the phone:

“I’m calling to support Senate Bill 1013, an act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and harassment, without regard to protected class. Can you ask the legislator to read Senate Bill 1013 favorably out of committee?”

They will ask your name and address and thank you for calling.

Here are the four committee leaders:
Senator Jason Lewis: 617-722-1206
Senator Pat Jehlen: 617-722-1578
Rep. Paul Brodeur: 617-722-2013
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier: 617-722-2240

It’s that simple!

Since the two committee heads represent the town of Melrose, and legislators care about their constituents’ views to count on future votes, forward this message onto anyone who lives in Melrose.

Everyone in Massachusetts can call these leaders, too. Every call matters.

6 steps before the Healthy Workplace Bill may become law

We have more than a year left until the legislative session ends next summer, and just 6 steps left for the bill to become law in Massachusetts:

  • The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development holds a public hearing where it listens to testimony. The committee moves the bill to the House. Debate begins. The bill is subject to amendments.
  • If approved, the bill is then ordered to a Third Reading in the House. In this phase, the bill is examined for legality, constitutionality, and the duplication or contradiction of existing law and then heads back to the House or Senate floor for debate and amendments.
  • If approved, the bill moves onto the Engrossment Committee at the Third Reading.
  • If approved, the Senate considers the bill through three readings and engrossment. If amended, the bill returns to the House for another vote. If the bill is rejected, three members of each branch draft a compromise bill.
  • The bill gets enacted by the legislature.
  • The bill gets signed by the governor. Ninety days after the governor’s signature, the bill becomes law.

Sounds simple, right? At any step, the bill can get delayed. So it’s up to us to spread the word to get more people to ask their legislators to support the bill and make it a priority.

The Hearing

Our hearing  in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will be held:

Tuesday, June 25
State House, Room B-1
10am

That Day

Since the B-1 room is small, we ask that you arrive early.

We’ve been asked by the Joint Committee to give a brief presentation, which we have finalized. If you plan to speak individually regardless, we recommend that you stay under two minutes. We expect the Committee to move our bill forward based on last session’s vote, so we hope to keep the Committee members positive about our bill by respecting their time and staying focused. (We suggest written accounts for filling in details, which might help to save everyone time.)

While you’re at the State House that day, drop by your legislators’ offices (both your rep and senator) and tell them you want House Bill 1766, the Healthy Workplace Bill, to become law. If you can schedule appointments with them that day, even better. Whether or not you meet with your legislators, leave the following with their aides or them:

If you can’t make it on that day, e-mail this information to your legislators.

Then What?

Once we pass this committee as we did last session, we expect to move onto a First, Second, and Third Reading in the House — where we stopped last session before the session ended. Passing the Third Reading in the House is a major accomplishment in getting this bill into law, but then the bill moves onto the same three readings in the Senate before it gets enacted.

Remember: most bills take multiple two-year sessions to pass into law. Thousands of bills get filed each session, but only a few hundred even make it to the House — but we’ve had one of them, thanks to your help in spreading the word. Don’t underestimate how much of a ripple effect telling even one person can have.

We now have a hearing date

We now have a tentative hearing date in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development: Tuesday, June 25 (time to be announced).

So What Do We Do Before the Hearing?

We have one major goal before the hearing: we encourage our friends, family, co-workers, and more to attend the hearing. Let’s fill the auditorium!

While you’re at the State House that day, drop by your legislators’ offices (both your rep and senator) and tell them you want House Bill 1766, the Healthy Workplace Bill, to become law. If you can schedule appointments with them that day, even better. Whether or not you meet with your legislators, leave the following with their aides or them:

If you can’t make it on that day, e-mail this information to your legislators.

Then What Happens?

Once we pass this committee as we did last session, we expect to move onto a First, Second, and Third Reading in the House — where we stopped last session before the session ended. Passing the Third Reading in the House is a major accomplishment in getting this bill into law, but then the bill moves onto the same three readings in the Senate before it gets enacted.

Remember: most bills take multiple two-year sessions to pass into law. Thousands of bills get filed each session, but only a few hundred even make it to the House — but we’ve had one of them, thanks to your help in spreading the word. Don’t underestimate how much of a ripple effect telling even one person can have.