Tagged: law

Legal and mental health resources for workplace bullying targets

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While our focus is to pass anti-workplace bullying legislation, many of you have come to us looking for legal and mental health advice or resources. We have just added to our website:

What resources do you think are missing from the conversation about workplace bullying that would help you?

Slowly but surely, workplace bullying laws are becoming a reality in the U.S.

We don’t have a law yet, but we’re making progress with workplace bullying law across the U.S..

Minding the Workplace

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Not too long ago, any reference to workplace bullying laws in the U.S. was purely aspirational. During the past three years, however, several states and municipalities have enacted workplace bullying laws that, while falling short of providing comprehensive protection to targets of these behaviors, signal America’s growing commitment to using the legal system to prevent and respond to abusive work environments.

Since 2003, some 30 American states and territories have considered some form of workplace bullying legislation, a variation of the Healthy Workplace Bill, model anti-bullying legislation I have drafted that provides targets of severe workplace bullying with a legal claim for damages and creates liability-reducing incentives for employers to act preventively and responsively toward bullying behaviors at work.

As the full versions of the Healthy Workplace Bill continue to gain support in state legislatures, several jurisdictions have enacted some form of workplace bullying legislation. Here is a brief summary:

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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.