Tagged: Senate

Workplace anti-bullying legislation takes a step forward in Massachusetts

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We’ve recently received word that the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development gave the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013, a favorable report. Since the bill is a Senate Bill this session, the bill moves to the Senate instead of the House, where it landed in past sessions.

Five months left

We only have five months remaining in this two-year session, which means that while we wait to see where in the Senate the bill lands, we encourage you to put the pressure on your State Senators only (once the bill moves to the House, we’ll put pressure on our State Reps again):

  1. Call your State Senator and ask whoever answers the phone for the email address of the scheduler so you can schedule a meeting with your State Senator. 
  2. Email the scheduler to setup a meeting either in local office hours or at the State House as soon as possible. This step is huge. Some of you have asked why we’re not doing more at the State House as a group. Well, the answer is simple: we’re all volunteers trying to push this bill outside of our full-time jobs and other responsibilities, and since our legislators care about getting their constituents’ votes in the next election, it’s most effective for us individually to meet with our own legislators one-on-one when it’s convenient for us. We’ve learned major insights from advocates after meetings with their legislators. Showing up as a group to legislators’ offices without an appointment simply isn’t as effective.
  3. Bring the flyers listed on this page with you to your meeting and summarize your workplace bullying story with your State Senator. Keep your State Senator armed with the facts, and ask him or her to put urgency on Senate leadership to bring the bill to a floor vote.
  4. Pass insights about their concerns onto us. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

It’s up to each of us to make time to ensure protections for employees who will go through the torment at work we went through. We need your help to create a groundswell throughout every part of the Commonwealth to say STOP to bullying at work. For those who’ve met with your legislators, we thank you and ask you to nudge them again while the bill is on their turf.

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Be strategic: flyer before a Senate Session

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Now that the hearing in front of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development is over, we’re getting ready for next steps. Normally at this stage of the process, we’d be just past the third of eight steps, and next we’d land in the House. But this session, we’re hoping to jump to the Senate before the House to build support to end workplace bullying.

Here’s where you come in. Some of you live close enough to Boston and can make it to the State House in the morning without a problem. If you’re one of those people and have morning availability, we’re looking to you to help. Senators have both formal and informal sessions. We’re asking you to:

  1. Look at the Senate Session schedule and choose either type of session.
  2. Stand outside the Senate chamber around an hour or less before a session you choose and hand out these flyers to educate State Senators on workplace bullying and to put a face to the cause as they’re walking into the chamber. You don’t have to ask which ones are Senators. You can hand flyers out to aides or simply interested people. There are 40 State Senators, so bring around that many flyer copies or more for maximum impact.

You could hand out flyers every Senate Session, just once, or somewhere in between. Any time you’re willing to give will be a huge help in telling legislators that ending workplace bullying is still a priority and that there are actual, real people behind this cause looking to end the abuse.

It’s up to each of us in this all-volunteer group to do what we can to further this cause to end the suffering, so we thank you in advance if you decide to make the trek and reach out to legislators. If you do, we ask you to send us photos at info@mahealthyworkplace.com to help inspire others to take action.

In the meantime, feel free to write members of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development to thank them for listening to our testimony and urge them to read Senate Bill 1013 favorably out of committee:

Jason.Lewis@masenate.govPatricia.Jehlen@masenate.govSal.DiDomenico@masenate.govJohn.Keenan@masenate.govPatrick.OConnor@masenate.govPaul.Brodeur@mahouse.govTricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.govJohn.Rogers@mahouse.govLiz.Malia@mahouse.govAaron.Vega@mahouse.govChristine.Barber@mahouse.govSteven.Ultrino@mahouse.govGerard.Cassidy@mahouse.govJuana.Matias@mahouse.govjoseph.mckenna@mahouse.govKeiko.Orrall@mahouse.gov

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.