Tagged: process

It’s crunch time for passing workplace anti-bullying legislation

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With next summer’s legislative session end drawing near (roughly eight months left), it’s time to put pressure on our state legislators to take action on the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill. Here’s what’s left in the process:

  • The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development reads the bill favorably out of committee.
  • If approved, the bill moves to the House. State reps examine the bill for legality, constitutionality, and the duplication or contradiction of existing law. The bill then heads back to the House 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.

That’s a lot of steps. And the bill’s been sitting with the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development since April.

We need your help

Imagine how state legislators might pay attention to the bill if many of us post on their walls in the window of a few days. Since legislators have been responsive to even one question about the bill on their Facebook walls (we’ve gained the support of nearly 10 of 152 legislators in the last two weeks alone using this method), we ask you to flood Facebook walls:

  1. Nudge the committee leaders to make this bill a priority. Post on the committee leaders’ Facebook walls, asking them if in light of workplace harassment in the news, they will make a priority to read the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013, favorably out of committee.

    Here are their Facebook accounts (and phone numbers if you’re not on Facebook):
    Senator Jason Lewis (D-5th Middlesex) and 617-722-1206
    Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-2nd Middlesex) and 617-722-1258
    Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose) and 617-722-2013
    Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield): 617-722-2240

  2. Write on the Facebook walls of those state legislators who’ve not yet expressed support of the bill this session. If you feel even more ambitious, post on these state legislators’ Facebook walls, asking them if they support the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com with responses (screenshots if possible).

Urge friends, family, and colleagues to do the same so we can get this bill passed this session.

Thanks so much for your help. This bill would not have progressed without you.

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What to expect by the end of January for ending workplace bullying in Massachusetts

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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:

  1. We’ll get a docket number.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Where the Healthy Workplace Bill goes next

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The process of the Healthy Workplace Bill becoming law doesn’t stop with the hearing that just took place last Tuesday. If the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development passes the bill favorably onto the next step, here’s what will happen:

  • The bill moves to the House. Debate begins. The bill is subject to amendments.
  • 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.
  • The bill moves onto the Engrossment Committee at the Third Reading.
  • 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.

The order of steps may change, and the bill is subject to approval to pass to each next step.

To help push the Healthy Workplace Bill to the next step, email the committee members asking them to move the bill forward.

Legislative Alert and New National Survey

LEGISLATIVE ALERT

If you haven’t already done so, we need you to contact your State Rep only (not Senator) and ask him or her to speak with Rep. Thomas Conroy about favorably reading HB 1766, the Healthy Workplace Bill, out of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. We’re still being held up by this committee, so we need pressure to come from his constituents (not from people outside of his district) or other reps.

Find your rep and call or e-mail today and share with others:
https://malegislature.gov/People/Search

HELP FUND NATIONAL SURVEY

The most cited statistics worldwide about adult bullying in the workplace come from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) national surveys. The media rely on WBI statistics, and the story of workplace bullying is kept alive by the media. We haven’t run a national scientific survey since 2010.

Help fund a new national survey to keep workplace abuse active in the media:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/u-s-workplace-bullying-survey-2014