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:
- 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
- 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 email@example.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.
While we have word that we did not pass the House this session, we made HUGE progress this first full session thanks to your help:
- We made a noticeable impact on the awareness of the legislature and other groups.
- We grew our group of advocates from a few hundred to more than 3,000.
- We had one sponsor in 09-10 and grew to a dozen sponsors in 11-12.
- We moved the bill to the brink of a floor vote in the House.
We’ll continue to gain support in the State House through December, and we’ll re-introduce the bill in January. Our progress this session should move the bill along more quickly next session, and we’re working on a plan to increase awareness of the bill this fall.
“Remember that this process takes determination and patience. Take, for example, the ‘3 strikes’ legislation concerning violent felons that is now very much in the news. Regardless of what you think about the new law, understand that it took 13 years from the time of the tragic murder that inspired it to the point where the Governor, with reservations, signed it. I don’t think it will take us that long with the HWB — I think we have a very good chance this coming session,” explained co-coordinator and Suffolk Law Professor David Yamada.
Co-coordinator Greg Sorozan adds “our goal is to demonstrate that this legislation is not adversarial in nature but offers numerous benefits to the workplace while providing legal remedy to seriously harmed individuals. Being bullied is not partisan in nature. Enabling bullying in the workplace is not partisan. It is wrong!”