Tagged: #metoo

Make abuse at work illegal. The clock is ticking.


#metoo has left us wondering: what do we do next to make workplaces safer?

The answer: make abuse at work illegal. While sexual harassment is one way (mostly) women get kept down, there’s a whole host of other behaviors that keep down anyone whose competence threatens a boss or co-worker. Workplace bullying — verbal abuse, sabotage, and other behaviors aimed to humiliate — can become illegal — if we make it happen.

By February 10, all committees must make decision on the bills in their committees. So we have exactly one month to continue to ask these legislators to move the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill favorably out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development:

  • Our state reps to ask in writing Rep. Paul Brodeur
  • Our state senators to ask in writing Senator Jason Lewis to do the same.

The last thing we want is for the committee to not move the bill forward because business owners’ voices were louder. Then we have until the summer to move this bill through the Senate and House. (We’ll need your help then, too. More about that later.)

Here’s our game plan:

  • Spread the word about the bill and specifically ask people to ask their state legislators to write to Rep. Brodeur or Senator Lewis to move the bill forward.
  • Forward this message to family, friends, and colleagues, and share this post on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com with your legislators’ response (even no response). Soon we’ll publicize who’s NOT supported this bill as a way to sway voter opinion and to urge legislators to take action (remember: legislators want to win their next election and want your vote. Post on social media your legislator support or lack of it based on the actions of your legislators on this bill.)

If you haven’t yet reached out to your legislators, please do so before February 10:

  1. Email your legislators. Use this easy tool to send your letter.
  2. Call your legislator’s office to make sure they received your email. This step is important. Legislators receive so many emails, and many get buried in their email boxes. Call to make sure they received it and ask them again to ask the legislator that you request he or she write a letter to Rep. Paul Brodeur or Senator Jason Lewis asking for Senate Bill 1013 to move forward.
  3. Repeat the process for the second legislator.

We thank you for your support. Rep. Brodeur’s staff reported that they get the most calls in support of this bill — thanks to your action.

Like us on Facebook.

For more information on workplace anti-bullying legislation, read these recent articles:
To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying (LA Times, November 16, 2017)
Workplace bullying remains in the shadows (Boston Globe, December 30, 2017)
Workplace bullying affects nearly half of US workers. It’s time we did something about it. (Truthout, January 11, 2018)


#metoo is about abuse of power, and workplace bullying law can help take power back

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 12.12.53 PM

The #metoo campaign about sexual harassment is about abuse of power at its root, and sexual harassment is only one tool for those in power at work to abuse it.

Boston Globe Reporter Beth Teitell put the spotlight on the umbrella of workplace bullying and its status in the Massachusetts legislature in her December 30, 2017 article “Workplace bullying remains in the shadows.”

“Experts say it can be more common and as damaging to its victims as sexual harassment, but with no clear definition in the law or widespread social recognition, it remains largely out of the public eye,” she explains. “It’s called workplace bullying, although victims say the term doesn’t fully capture its power.”
This article is the second major article we’ve seen in the news about abuse of power — workplace bullying — at the root of #metoo. The first is David Lieberman’s LA Times op-ed “To end sexual harassment on the job, end workplace bullying.”
We need to keep the momentum going. Investigate reporters who’ve written about #metoo and let them know your story and about the Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013, that has just six months left this legislative to pass. Publications include:
To pass this bill, we need the media on our side. If you get the attention of a reporter, email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com so we can look out for their article.
Thank you to those who spoke with Reporter Beth Teitell. Your courage to speak up is much appreciated.

Why are we ignoring abuse of power that’s not sexual harassment?

Me Too hashtag from cube letters, anti sexual harassment social media campaign

With the growing protest of sexual harassment in Hollywood, a lot of us are left wondering: why are we ignoring that when abuse of power isn’t of a sexual nature, countless competent and ambitious workers like Ann Curry get pushed out of their jobs? Why are only those in protected classes (gender, race/ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, individuals with disabilities, and veteran status) accounted for under law when general workplace bullying is four times more common than sexual harassment? Why should someone choose between their health or a paycheck because their competence — rather than their protected class — threatens the power abuser?

While #metoo exposed that law can’t protect everyone when they’re forced to choose between speaking up or preserving their jobs, sexual harassment law certainly moved the needle on the norms of sexual abuse in the workplace. But when there are no laws to protect those suffering from verbal abuse, threatening, intimidating, or humiliating behaviors, and sabotage, CEOs have no accountability to pay attention to the health of their workplace cultures. So employees believe nothing will be done when they report abusive behavior, and rightfully so.

We all deserve protections from abuse at work, regardless of the form and who we are. “Otherwise, workplaces will continue to be used by narcissistic individuals as personal playgrounds for predatory actions, which can negatively impact individuals, organizations, companies, and societies,” says S. L. Young in his Huffington Post article “Harassment goes beyond sex, women, Hollywood, and politics.”

How do we do more to prevent abuse of power in the workplace? We demand change. The workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill is stuck in the State House, and we need your help to move it forward.