Tagged: State House

What who’s in Senate leadership means for workplace bullying legislation

Sad businesswoman

For the first time ever, Massachusetts Senate Ways & Means is led by all women. And with women more like to be bullied at work according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, timing couldn’t be better to get workplace anti-bullying legislation through the Senate, making it the furthest the bill would ever get in the Massachusetts State House.

We need your help to get there. With less than two months in the legislative session, which ends July 31, we ask you to help keep pressure on Senate Ways & Means to move Senate Bill 1013 to a vote in the Senate. 

We ask you to make these four calls TODAY:

  1. 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:
    Senator Karen Spilka (Chair), 617-722-1640
    Senator Joan Lovely (Vice Chair), 617-722-1410
    Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (Assistant Vice Chair), 617-722-1673
  2. Ask your own State Senator via phone or email to write to Chairwoman Karen Spilka asking her to bring the Senate Bill 1013 to a floor vote.
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.

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

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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.

Urgent Action: to make workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts, ask your State Senator to sign onto this Budget Amendment

JumpingOverHurdle

With three months left in the legislative session, our new lead sponsor Senator Paul Feeney has added the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill as an amendment to the budget. In the next two weeks, we’re looking to flood our State Senators with phone calls and emails asking them to sign onto this amendment, Budget Amendment #23.

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.

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

THIS WEEK: Take action to help make  workplace bullying illegal in Massachusetts

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We have word that Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Chairs Jason Lewis and Paul Brodeur are currently in intense conversation on the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill and are optimistic of it moving onto next steps: the Senate. The chairs are still accepting written testimony on this bill this week. 

(The committee has until February 10 to make decisions on all bills put before them, so we’re asking you to act this week while they’re discussing the bill so there’s time for them to act.)

Who influences these two legislators the most?
Our state legislators’ voices.

Who influences our state legislators?
We do.

The committee heads need to know that your OWN legislators support them moving the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013, forward. And our voices have the most impact on our own legislators because they want our votes in the next election.

Senator Lewis and Rep. Brodeur also want to hear from us directly.

With only six months left in the two-year legislative session, they need to know THIS WEEK that our collective voices are louder than business opposition before time runs out to complete the rest of the steps to turn this bill into law. We need as many voices as possible THIS WEEK while they’re discussing the bill to send a clear message to our state legislators that workplace bullying destroys lives — and we want change.

Here’s what you can do to help move this bill forward at this stage:

  1. Call your State Rep AND State Senator to ask them to ask Senator Lewis and Rep. Brodeur to move forward the bill, now Senate Bill 1013, an act relative to workplace bullying and mobbing without regard to protected class.
  2. Draft your story in one page (see tips below).
  3. Email your story to your legislator using our easy tool or email. If you email, ask your legislator to cc you on the email he or she sends to Senator Lewis or Rep. Brodeur or to forward you a copy afterwards. Then forward that message to us at info@mahealthyworkplace.com so we know who supports the bill.
  4. Repeat the process for calling AND emailing for Senator Jason Lewis and Rep. Paul Brodeur.

How to draft your story:
Stick to the facts and keep it brief. Write up a one-page summary of what happened to you or someone you know:

  1. In one sentence, open with who you are, where you worked, and what you did for work.
  2. In one paragraph, paint a picture of your experience using facts (briefly describing how you felt as professionally as possible while still using emotional detail).
  3. In one paragraph, describe how your employer reacted (or didn’t react). Did they ignore you? Retaliate?
  4. In one paragraph, describe the toll your experience took on you, especially your physical and financial health. Did you experience anxiety, loss of sleep, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder? How much did you lose in therapy costs, medication costs? Did your experience cost you a marriage, a home loss, high medical expenses, legal expenses?
  5. In one paragraph, describe how the experience left an impact on the organization. Roughly how many sick days did you need to take? Emphasize that costs are also associated with hiring and training a replacement employee.

We thank you again for your work on making employee rights a priority in Massachusetts. Please forward this message to others who may have experienced workplace bullying or who know your story and can tell it from a witness standpoint in support of the bill.

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

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.

Urgent: hold employers accountable for bullying employees

OrangeGoal

With only eight months left in the two-year legislative session and more retailers and business organizations opposing the workplace anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, Senate Bill 1013 (an act against workplace bullying and mobbing), we need to act quickly.

Your action is vital to progress the bill. Here’s how it works: Legislators want to act based on what their own constituents want so they can get re-elected and keep working for you. Telling them what you want and their taking action matters for both your empowerment and your future vote. And the more of us who contact our legislators asking them to write to Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Paul Brodeur, the more urgency the committee will feel to move the bill to the Senate. We need as many people as possible to make this urgency happen.

We thank those who’ve setup meetings with your state legislators to tell them your personal stories and ask them to ask Rep. Paul Brodeur to move the bill out of committee. (If you haven’t yet, you can do so by calling your State Rep and State Senator. Bring your story with you on one page — see guidance below.) It’s by far the most effective way to push the bill forward. If you can’t meet with your legislators, you can still help.

Another way you can help

What legislators need is our stories and to write letters to Rep. Paul Brodeur to ask him to move the bill to the Senate with your stories attached. If you absolutely cannot meet with your legislators, even in local office hours, we ask you to write to them and followup call (you can use this template to bring your story with you to their office hours and email to your legislator beforehand, too):

  1. Draft your story. Stick to the facts and keep it brief. Write up a one-page summary of what happened to you or someone you know:
    1. In one sentence, open with who you are, where you worked, and what you did for work.
    2. In one paragraph, paint a picture of your experience using facts (briefly describing how you felt as professionally as possible while still using emotional detail).
    3. In one paragraph, describe how your employer reacted (or didn’t react). Did they ignore you? Retaliate?
    4. In one paragraph, describe the toll your experience took on you, especially your physical and financial health. Did you experience anxiety, loss of sleep, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder? How much did you lose in therapy costs, medication costs? Did your experience cost you a marriage, a home loss, high medical expenses, legal expenses?
    5. In one paragraph, describe how the experience left an impact on the organization. Roughly how many sick days did you need to take? Emphasize that costs are also associated with hiring and training a replacement employee.
  2. Email your legislators. Use this easy tool to send your letter. Follow the instructions and copy and paste it into the fourth tab.
  3. 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 asking for Senate Bill 1013 to move forward.
  4. Repeat the process for the second legislator.

You may also use the first tab of the easy tool to draft your story and send it off. (We ask you to still followup call.)

We thank you again for your work on making employee rights a priority in Massachusetts. Please forward this message to others who may have experienced workplace bullying.

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

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.