It’s the beginning of the two-year legislative session, so within the next two weeks, we’ll introduce the anti-workplace bullying Healthy Workplace Bill in the State House again. Every session, we start from the beginning of the process but with more backing in the State House each session. Here’s how the process works:
- We’ll get a docket number.
- We’ll have a week to flood our state legislators (reps and senators) with requests to contact the lead sponsors to sign onto that docket number. Data shows that calling your legislators versus emailing them is the most effective way to get them to sign onto the bill since emails often just sit in an inbox. Once we have a docket number, we’ll send out information that will make it incredibly easy for you to do both. Look out for it on or around Monday, January 23rd.
- We’ll update you during the week of January 23-27 with who’s on board and who needs a nudge so you can ask colleagues, friends, and family to join in. We’ll try to beat our numbers last session, when we got 58 sponsors on board. That’s nearly one third of the entire State Legislature, growing from 39 sponsors the previous session and 13 the one before that.
- We’ll have a brand-new bill number to promote the bill with.
What to remember about this legislative session
If you’re exhausted by how long it’s taking to pass this bill, we get it. But don’t be. It’s a typical timeframe to pass a bill at the state level, and we’ve just about reached that point when bills gain enough momentum to pass. It’s how school bullying legislation passed, and it can happen with workplace bullying legislation, too. But there’s more:
We’re taking advantage of the national political climate to get in front of political activists who can help us build momentum even faster. There are more political rallies going on now than in my lifetime. And they’re full of people who want to create change —and know they have the power to do it. Help us reach out to them by sign holding at a major Boston event in the next week so we can get as many people as possible to contact their legislators to sponsor the bill.
We’re fine-tuning strategy in the State House. We’re getting a new House lead sponsor to replace our champion, retired Rep. Ellen Story. And we’re figuring out the best path for the bill to go through to pass this session.
We have the ears of the media. We’re working on some major media breakthroughs involving the workplace bullying connection with suicide that we hope will put some urgency behind this bill. This story has the potential to be huge. We’ll keep you looped in.
It’s a long process, but we’re not backing down.
No one deserves to go through what we went through. Help us be the voice for those who are suffering and still healing.
Make history by helping create the biggest anti-workplace bullying campaign known to man. We’re getting ready for a gigantic push this fall with the end goal of passing historic anti-workplace bullying legislation in Massachusetts next session. Join us for the Workplace Bullying Advocacy Planning Meeting to add your own event to the list. Ideas include:
- Art displays
- Flash mob at high profile location in Boston
- Live Facebook talks
- Organizing groups of people to go to the State House
- Research of suicide stories
- Road races wearing “end workplace bullying” t-shirts
- Social media campaigns using design, photography, or video
If you can’t make it to the meeting but have an advocacy effort you’d like to plan, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Or just plan it and let us know about it so we can help spread the word.)
Shannon Green, in a piece for Corporate Counsel (link here), explains how the possible enactment of the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill is having an impact on lawyers representing employers. In essence, these lawyers are seeing more bullying-related claims from employees, and they’re training their clients to develop workplace bullying policies and other measures in anticipation of the Healthy Workplace Bill becoming law.
Here’s a sampling from the article:
No state has yet to pass legislation defining a cause of action, but according to experts, claims of workplace abuse are nonetheless on the rise. Their advice to employers: the time to train your workforce is now.
Legislation is currently pending in New Jersey, and 21 states have proposed laws on workplace bullying since 2003. The Workplace Bullying Institute advocates state passage of the Healthy Workplace Bill . . ., drafted by Suffolk University Law School professor David Yamada.
Practitioners are using…
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