Friday, December 26, 2014

Petition to Pass the Healthy Workplace Bill in the 2015 Legislative Session

Click here to see and sign the Petition to Pass the Healthy Workplace Bill in 2015.

As the legislative session opens in Connecticut, we need to remind legislators that we care about the issue of workplace bullying and we want them to make it illegal.
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For more information on the bill, go to www.healthyworkplacebill.org

Monday, October 20, 2014

Freedom Week: A Call to Stop Workplace Bullying, Oct. 19-25, 2014

Freedom Week: A Call to Stop Workplace Bullying

(Hartford, CT)  Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week, October 19-25, 2014 is a national awareness-raising event sponsored by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). “Freedom Week is the chance to break through the shame and silence surrounding workplace bullying,” says Dr. Gary Namie, WBI co-founder and co-author of The Bully-FreeWorkplace: Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes From Killing Your Organization (Wiley, 2011).

WBI defines Workplace Bullying as abusive conduct committed by one or more perpetrators. According to the latest scientific WBI national survey, over one-quarter of adult Americans, 27%, have been the target of workplace bullying. A startling 65 million Americans are negatively affected by abusive conduct at work. Damages include harm to employee health and job loss; employers suffer lost productivity and lawsuits.

It’s an epidemic but fear of losing one’s job in these tough economic times leads to underreporting. It’s a silent epidemic.

“I lost a close friend who committed suicide in 2005,” remembers Dr. Katherine Hermes, a history professor at Central Connecticut State University. “When she tried to report the abusive conduct, it was called a personality conflict. We didn’t know what to call what happened to her until finding the Workplace Bullying Institute, which explained the phenomenon. Now I understand it is like domestic violence. It does the same thing to a person, inducing shame, pain and health problems from stress, including PTSD.” Both men and women can experience workplace bullying.

“I want to make sure every workplace is free from bullying, so that is why I formed Connecticut HealthyWorkplace Advocates,” Hermes says. “We spread information through social media like Twitter and Facebook, and we advocate for legislation. Conscientious managers and employers can learn to stop it.”

In years past, several cities and counties across the country have proclaimed “Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week,” including New London, Newtown, Torrington, and New Milford.  This year the town of Chaplin and the city of Groton have issued proclamations. CentralConnecticut State University President Jack Miller has proclaimed Freedom Week on his campus for the last several years and has done so again in 2014. It is a time for bullied individuals and their families to plan ways to leave damaging jobs. Unions should awake to bullying within their ranks. Employers should commit to stop the preventable losses. Lawmakers can introduce a state bill to curb bullying in the workplace called the Healthy Workplace Bill.

The first Connecticut state version of the Healthy Workplace Bill, SB 371, was introduced in the General Assembly by Sen. Thomas Colapietro in 2007. It was heard in the Labor and Public Employees Committee chaired by Sen. Edith Prague, who also introduced it the next year. In 2009, 2010 and 2012, various bills concerning workplace bullying using some language from the Healthy Workplace Bill have been introduced. Current Labor and Public Employees Committee co-chair Sen. GaryHolder-Winfield has introduced and supported bills on workplace bullying in the past. Puerto Rico’s legislature passed the Healthy Workplace Bill in 2014, but the governor vetoed it.

Contact:
Connecticut Healthy Workplace Advocates
Coordinator: Katherine Hermes, J.D., Ph.D.
Email: ctbullybusters@gmail.com

Contact: 
Gary Namie, Director, WBI, 360-656-6630

WBI is the first and only research and education U.S. organization dedicated to the eradication of abusive conduct in the workplace.







Sunday, March 2, 2014

CCSU professor urges law targeting workplace bullying

CCSU professor urges law targeting workplace bullying

Saturday, March 1, 2014 10:10 PM EST

NEW BRITAIN — Workplace bullying is back in the public eye.

According to a recent national survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans — 93 percent — support enactment of a new law that would protect workers from repeated abusive treatment at work. Only 1 percent strongly oppose such a measure.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Abusive Workplace Bullying Affects 48% of Americans While Employer Reactions Lag

Abusive Workplace Bullying Affects 48% of Americans While Employer Reactions Lag

Results of scientific 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey shows epidemic prevalence, women bearing the brunt of the bullying, employers failing to protect the bullied, and nearly unanimous support for creating a new law.

NEW BRITAIN, CT — Feb. 25 — The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) defined workplace bullying as “abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse” in its 2014 national survey. Key results: 27% of all adult Americans have directly experienced it, 21% have witnessed it, 56% of perpetrators are bosses, 68% of perpetrators are men, and 60% of targets (recipients) are women.

Since WBI introduced workplace bullying to the country in 1997 public awareness has risen to 72% according to the new survey. Similarly positive is that the percentage of bullies who are bosses has declined over the years.

Employers do little to stop workplace bullying. The majority (72%) reacted to complaints in inappropriate ways: 25% did not investigate, 31% either discounted it as not serious or considered it routine, 11% defended bullies, and 5% actively encouraged the abuse.

In cases where bullying ended, targets lost their jobs 61% of the time — either terminated, forced to quit (constructively discharged), or voluntarily quit.

“Unfortunately the victims of this serious health-harming abuse are the ones asked to stop it,” says WBI director Dr. Gary Namie, “If there were a law as in Canada and other industrialized nations, employers would have to protect workers.”

According to the survey an overwhelming majority of Americans (93%) supported enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated abusive mistreatment at work. Only 1% strongly opposed such a measure.

WBI commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct the survey of a national representative sample of all adult Americans (MOE ± 3.2%). Crowdfunded on Indiegogo with major support from OnLock Digital Authentication LLC.

WBI is the first and only U.S. organization dedicated to the eradication of workplace bullying that combines help for individuals, research, books, public education, training for professionals-unions-employers, legislative advocacy, and consulting solutions for organizations. 


Poor Employer Reactions to Abusive Workplace Bullying Trigger 93% Public Support for Healthy Workplace Bill



Poor Employer Reactions to Abusive Workplace Bullying Trigger 93% Public Support for New Law

Results of scientific 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey shows epidemic prevalence. Despite this, employers fail to protect targeted employees, resulting in nearly unanimous support for creating a new law.

NEW BRITAIN, CT— Feb. 25 — The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) defined workplace bullying as “abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or verbal abuse” in its 2014 national survey. Key results: 27% of all adult Americans have directly experienced it, 21% have witnessed it, 56% of perpetrators are bosses.

Since WBI introduced workplace bullying to the country in 1997 public awareness has risen to 72% according to the new survey. Despite this awareness, employers do little to stop workplace bullying.

The majority (72%) of employers reacted to complaints in inappropriate ways: 25% did not investigate, 31% either discounted it as not serious or considered it routine, 11% defended bullies, and 5% actively encouraged the abuse.

“Unfortunately the victims of this serious health-harming abuse are the ones asked to stop it,” says WBI director Dr. Gary Namie, “If there were a law as in Canada and other industrialized nations, employers would have to protect workers.”

According to the survey an overwhelming majority of Americans (93%) supported enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated abusive mistreatment at work. Only 1% strongly opposed such a measure.

“Because of the strong public support and the stories from Connecticut citizens we are seeking sponsors in the legislature now” says Katherine Hermes, State Co-Coordinator to enact the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill and Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. (Other coordinators are Lynne Appell-Munday of Newtown, a nurse, and Mary Beth Nelsen, a business consultant, of Oxford.) “This year could be a breakthrough year for us.” A new petition with 165 signatures is still active, and in the past petitions with nearly 300 signatures have been presented to the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee.

WBI commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct the survey of a national representative sample of all adult Americans (MOE ± 3.2%).


The Healthy Workplace Campaign is a national initiative to enact state laws to address abusive conduct in the American workplace. State Coordinators form a network of volunteer advocates. To date, 26 states have introduced a version of the model legislation, the Healthy Workplace Bill. Connecticut was the 12th state to introduce the Healthy Workplace Bill, but the last time was in 2008, when now-retired Sen. Edith Prague introduced and held a public hearing for her bill SB 60 co-sponsored by Reps. Kevin Ryan and Roberta Willis. The bill was withdrawn. Since then other public hearings have been held, but no bill has been put forward. “We hope new members of the Labor and Public Employees Committee are on board,” said Mary Beth Nelsen of Oxford, CT, State Co-Coordinator with Hermes, “as year after year workers have made it clear in the state that they want this law.”

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, Dr. Katherine Hermes will discuss the work of Connecticut Healthy Workplace Advocates, as well as the current initiative to enact anti-bullying legislation in our state, on the New London Greens' public access TV show "Thinking Green."  The show airs live on on MetroCast channel 25 from 7:00-7:55pm; call-ins are welcome. Recordings of the show will be available on additional public access stations at a later date. The New London Greens have produced the show, which is recorded live from the MetroCast studio in Waterford, CT, since 2004.
 

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