Tagged: Senate

Let’s keep the pressure on Senate Ways & Means to make workplace bullying legislation a priority in Massachusetts

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The legislative session ends in two months on July 31. We need your help in the next two weeks to keep pressure on Senate Ways & Means to move Senate Bill 1013 to a vote in the Senate. 

We ask you to call these Senators and ask whoever answers the phone if the Senator will make Senate Bill 1013 a priority to make severe cases of workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts:

Karen Spilka (Chair), 617-722-1640
Joan Lovely (Vice Chair), 617-722-1410
Sonia Chang-Diaz (Assistant Vice Chair), 617-722-1673
Michael J. Barrett, 617-722-1572
William N. Brownsberger, 617-722-1280
Vinny M. deMacedo, 617-722-1330
Sal N. DiDomenico, 617-722-1650
James B. Eldridge, 617-722-1120
Adam G. Hinds, 617-722-1625
Donald F. Humason, Jr., 617-722-1415
Patricia D. Jehlen, 617-722-1578
John F. Keenan, 617-722-1494
Michael O. Moore, 617-722-1485
Kathleen O’Connor Ives, 617-722-1604
Richard J. Ross, 617-722-1555
Michael F. Rush, 617-722-1348
James T. Welch, 617-722-1660

You can also:
  • Post on Facebook and tweet using #ItStartsWithUs #WorkplaceBullying #mapoli to keep the conversation going and to increase awareness of the problem. You can tweet at these Senators using @KarenSpilka @SenJoanLovely @SoniaChangDiaz @BarrettSenate @wbrownsberger @VinnyDeMacedo @SalDiDomenico @JamieEldridgeMA @adamghinds @SenDonHumason @senjehlen @SenJohnFKeenan @SenMikeMoore @KOconnorIves @SenRichardJRoss @SenatorMikeRush @Sen_Jim_Welch
  • Repost our Facebook and Twitter posts.

The more people who ask for change, the more likely we’ll get it. It’s up to each of us to ensure protections for employees who will go through the torment at work we went through and to spread the word by forwarding this email onto colleagues, friends, and family. We need to create a groundswell throughout every part of the Commonwealth to say STOP to bullying at work.

Want to spread the word? Forward this email or download the flyer.

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Your calls to ask for support for workplace anti-bullying legislation are working

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Your calls to your Massachusetts State Senators are working. In the last few days, these 12 senators signed onto Senator Paul Feeney’s Senate Budget Amendment #23 to make severe cases of workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts (including Senator Paul Feeney, that’s more than one third of the entire State Senate). Note the six supporters who’ve never signed onto this bill in the past, including two Republicans, all thanks to your efforts:

Senator William N. Brownsberger (D-Boston)
Senator Julian Cyr (D-Cape and Islands)
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Middlesex and Suffolk)
Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Worcester and Norfolk)
Senator Cindy Friedman (D-4th Middlesex)
Senator Anne Gobi (D-Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex)
Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover)
Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Shrewsbury)
Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Plymouth and Norfolk)
Senator Walter Timilty (D-Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth)
Senator James T. Welch (D-Hampden)

If your State Senator is listed above, we have your Senator’s official support.

Here’s who’s left to urge to sign onto this amendment:

Senator Michael J. Barrett (D-3rd Middlesex)
Senator Joseph A. Boncore (D-1st Suffolk and Middlesex)
Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton)*
Senator Harriette Chandler (D-1st Worcester)
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-2nd Suffolk)*
Senator Nick Collins (D-Boston)
Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-1st Middlesex and Norfolk)
Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn)
Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth and Barnstable)
Senator Adam G. Hinds (D-Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden)
Senator Donald F. Humason, Jr. (R-Westfield)*
Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-2nd Middlesex)
Senator John Keenan (D-Norfolk and Plymouth)
Senator Eric Lesser (D-1st Hampden and Hampshire)
Senator Jason Lewis (D-5th Middlesex)
Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Peabody)*
Senator Mark Montigny (D-2nd Bristol and Plymouth)
Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-1st Essex)
Senator Marc Pacheco (D-1st Plymouth and Bristol)
Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-1st Bristol and Plymouth)
Senator Richard Ross (R-Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex)
Senator Michael F. Rush (D-Norfolk and Suffolk)
Senator Karen Spilka (D-2nd Middlesex and Norfolk)
Senator Bruce Tarr (R-1st Essex and Middlesex)
Senator Dean Tran (R-Worcester and Middlesex)

*Denotes past co-sponsor.
Here’s how you can help

It’s up to each of us 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 contacted your legislators about this bill, we thank you and ask you to take action again by making this specific request.

Respectful and dignified work environments start at the top. #ItStartsWithUs

PS — Join the Senate budget discussion online by using #SenBudget on Facebook and Twitter showing your support of Senate Budget Amendment #23 to make severe cases of workplace bullying illegal. Watch the feed while Senate budget discussions happen.

Want to spread the word? Forward this email or download the flyer.

Learn about what workplace bullying is »
Like us on Facebook »

PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of the Boston Globe
The LA Times
Truthout

With workplace bullying in the Senate, it’s time for Massachusetts legislators to take a stand

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The Senate Committee on Ethics on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 released its report concerning Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg and concluded that Rosenberg had ample evidence of workplace harassment but failed to remedy it for those who depended on him: his own staff, his fellow Senators and their staff, and ultimately his constituents, Commonwealth employees, and the people of the Commonwealth. Had workplace bullying without regard to protected class been illegal, Senate staff could have had clear and safe recourse to protect themselves from Rosenberg’s negligence that emboldened his husband’s toxic behavior — leading ultimately to threats, racial comments, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and costs to taxpayers through a thorough investigation.

Given legal protections from workplace bullying, staff would have been able to seek help when Rosenberg:

  • Failed to uphold the IT policy he didn’t read by giving his husband, who exhibited bullying behavior, full access to his email account — and asking his staff to do the same even when they expressed discomfort.
  • Excused his husband’s bullying behavior as “mental health issues” once he was aware of the harassment and concerned about where it might lead.
  • Emboldened the bullying behavior by continuing to inform his husband of Senate matters despite his husband’s prior harassment of staff.

Workplace bullying occurs in workplace cultures where leadership at the top allows it to happen. Rosenberg supported a bully culture by:

  • Exempting himself from Senate policies.
  • Failing to protect staff by excusing unethical and dangerous behavior.
  • Continuing to give a known bully access to tools that furthered his bullying.
  • Failing to implement a workplace bullying policy and to empower Human Resource staff to uphold it.

Had workplace bullying been illegal, Rosenberg’s staff could have felt safe to do their jobs in a respectful and dignified work environment. They would have had a clear and safe path to report violations of a workplace bullying policy and would have likely prevented Rosenberg’s husband from escalating his abusive behavior.

Now that they know their own policies fail to create a workplace free from harassment and its destructive consequences, Senators can:

In the words of the Senate Committee on Ethics, when leaders have evidence and fail to act in support of those who depend on them, “the most obvious sanction for a failure of leadership would be the loss of the relevant leadership position.”

Respectful and dignified work environments start at the top.

#ItStartsWithUs

URGENT: Contact your State Senator to write to Senate Ways & Means to move workplace anti-bullying legislation forward

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After the resignation of the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill Lead Sponsor Senator Jennifer Flanagan, the new Senator Paul Feeney has stepped forward to champion this bill through the remainder of the two-year legislative session. We’ve recently found out that the bill has landed in Senate Ways & Means. With only three months remaining in this session, we’re looking to ask our State Senators to write to Senate Ways & Means Chair Karen Spilka to ask her to make the bill a priority.

How to schedule a meeting with your State Senator

  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. The answer is simple: 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 ask Senate Ways & Means Chair Karen Spilka to move the bill forward.
  4. Pass insights about their concerns onto us. Email us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

If you absolutely can’t meet with your State Senator, we ask you to do one of these two tasks (or both) in the next two weeks:

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.

Learn about what workplace bullying is »
Like us on Facebook »

PS – Did you see the bill in the news recently? It made:
The front page of the Boston Globe
The LA Times
Truthout

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.

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.