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Workplace Bullying Legislation(any state) Federal

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  • Workplace Bullying Legislation(any state) Federal

    So what do you memberss think? Do you think this will ever become law in any states?
    Man oh man I tell ya...so many gutless individuals will have to restucture their attitudes if this ever comes into effect...maybe learn to look people in the eye, posture, or anything making it less obvious that they are full of dung at so many times. Heck the BCC feature use in email will skyrocket.
    I, for one, really see this as a tough road. I mean sure bullying can be pointed out, but how to deal with it? Courts are backed up as it is...
    http://www.bullybusters.org/advocacy/legisadv.html.

    PS- any of you have, or know of comapnies that have, some sort of "anti-bullying" policy?
    Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.

  • #2
    I see bullying as a form of harassment. I guess it depends on the situation, some people are good at covering up their intentions.

    Comment


    • #3
      joec

      Isnt that simply legislation to forming unions?
      Im refering to legislation for specigically making bullying in the workplace illegal.
      Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Judging by your responses I would say your pro-union? That's great and your responses are greatly appreciated but not exactly what I am looking for here.
        Im sorry let me try this again...
        I do not need to be a in a union to protect me from being descrimminated at work because of my race(i am part Korean). The link I provided is about workplace bullying, specifically stating that legislation has been brought forth, though not yet passed, in states in effort to make workplace bullying(humiliation, ect...) illegal for those who are not art of a union.
        Yes I know I can write my congressman on many issues, but the link provided that this is in process.
        Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.

        Comment


        • #5
          You feel your discriminated against for being half Korean?

          No. I was using that as an example of not having to be part of a union to be protected.
          Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.

          Comment


          • #6
            The last time I looked, which was not too long ago, there were several states that were considering legislation on bullying. However, if you want my personal opinion, it will still be a while before any of them get around to actually passing it.

            The reason? What is actually bullying, and what is managing, can be a very fine line to draw. There are employees who believe they are being bullied when the employer refuses to allow them Friday off, or won't let them leave early. There are also employees who will willingly endure what no human being should ever have to sit through; for whatever reason it's worth it to them.

            I have personally been involved in a situation where an employee (who had emotional disorders) honestly believed she was being treated terribly. I have no doubt that if she were to post here, it would be with great pathos as to the horrible treatment she received and the uncaring HR person (me) who did nothing to stop it.

            As a neutral party looking in (believe me, I had NO reason to be loyal to that particular managment and would have happily supported any employee who had a legitimate case - and there were those who did), this employee was not remotely being bullied. In fact, she was to a certain extent getting preferential treatment (the ADA was still fairly new at that time and I know now that we accomodated her emotional illness to a far greater extent than we needed to) and the management was putting up with a great deal from her that they would not have endured for someone else. I was witness (without her knowledge - not spying on her, it was just that they chose to have their conversation right outside my office while I was in it) to a conversation that she later reported to me as an example of harassment, but the conversation she reported had very little relationship to the conversation I heard. Her manager had been far more gentle with her than I would have been in the same situation, as a matter of fact. That is only one example; she was in my office practically daily complaining about this person or that person who was treating her poorly or not giving her, her due credit for working hard (she worked quite hard at the jobs she liked; ignoring the ones she didn't to where it was becoming a serious problem - and yes, we were addressing it); had a "bad attitude" towards her, or some other (mostly imagined) complaint. She was a marginal performer at best and if my employers had not been afraid of a lawsuit she'd have been out on her ear for performance reasons weeks earlier than she was. Quite a lot of her complaints stemmed from her manager telling her (and I witnessed a number of these) that her work was not satisfactory; since in her mind she was the best worker in the place (not even close to true) of course this HAD to be her manager bullying her.

            Yet she was quite sincere in her assertion; she honestly, truly believed that she was being mistreated, to the point where she reported it to the authorities (who investigated and found nothing).

            I will be the first to admit that this is an extreme case. I am not remotely suggesting that all instances of bullying are in the employee's head. It does exist and I'm not saying otherwise. (I do think there is some room for doubt as to how widespread it is; I sincerely believe that a portion of the cases reported are instances of employees who have an "entitlement" mentality and simply aren't getting what they think they are due in the way of treatment - I have a fairly clear example of that going on right now.)

            But I do think that my example, above, shows how it is difficult it would be to draw the line as to what is bullying and what is employees being managed. Whose perception do you use? How do you legislate a case like the one I described? For that matter, how do you legislate the behavior of any one towards someone else?

            You can't, not with any kind of accuracy. So I think it will still be a while before we see any legislation specifically drawn to this regard.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been following this pretty closely too, and I've been all over the website the op posted. NJ has an active bill on this in the legislature.

              My opinion is that existing laws are enough. Right now, companies can't treat people badly for being in a protected class. People can't be sexually harassed. People can't be physically threatened or harmed. Harassment is defined in existing laws.

              Some of the proposed bullying legislation is basically targeted at anything an employee doesn't like that doesn't involve the types of harassment above.

              We will be inundated with:
              My boss rolled her eyes at me.
              My supervisor gave me a dirty look.
              I get more work assigned to me than my coworkers do.
              My supervisor threatened to write me up if I make this same mistake again.
              etc.

              All the time spent addressing and investigating this type of thing will possibly take time & attention away from addressing and investigating REAL cases of sexual harassment or racial/ethnic discrimination.

              While some proponents might intend that these anti-bullying laws protect people from threats, intimidation, etc., employees are likely to make claims when they are given any corrective action, when vacation time is not approved, when they are told they can't do something, and even when they are reminded to do their job.

              I can't count how many times I've had to investigate claims of workplace harassment, and I've had to tell people, "your boss telling you to do your job does not constitute harassment." If this legislation passes, those people will have recourse.

              If I have a manager who threatens and intimidates staff, that manager already gets corrective action, and may be fired. It's unprofessional. I don't think we need another law.

              Anyway...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post
                We will be inundated with:
                My boss rolled her eyes at me.
                My supervisor gave me a dirty look.
                I get more work assigned to me than my coworkers do.
                My supervisor threatened to write me up if I make this same mistake again.
                etc.
                My husband used to work in the legal department of a federal agency with civil service employees, a union, and a formal grievance process that no one was afraid to use. You know how a rubber band sometimes just gives up and snaps and may go flying? The first case he was handed was where someone grieved because the person at the next desk was taking the rubber band off of a stack of mail, the rubber band snapped and broke, a piece went flying onto the other person's desk. She filed a grievance saying that the co-worker had threatened her with bodily harm, and nothing could convince her to the contrary.
                I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  And lest anyone misunderstand, I don't think anyone is claiming that bullying does not exist; we are saying that it would be impossible to legislate the difference between what is described above and when an employee really is being bullied.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cbg View Post
                    And lest anyone misunderstand, I don't think anyone is claiming that bullying does not exist; we are saying that it would be impossible to legislate the difference between what is described above and when an employee really is being bullied.
                    I really have to agree with you on the whole idea that many people have no idea what bullying really is and will misuse the law. What I did want to make clear however is this. Much like with just about every situation in America, there already is a law in place to deal with it. But the problem is that it isn't invoked or enforced. I believe in the law, the law is a beautiful thing. In it's purest form, everyone starts from the same place and has the same responsibilities to obey it; however, you get many people who believe that it doesn't apply to them. Many people here believe that because they own a business or run one for some other individual that they are sovereign, and those responsible for enforcing the law don't help with that god complex they have. Many times I have seen people post here saying things that are blatant examples of harrassment or assault. When I make the suggestion that the individual ask for relief through legal channels I always get something along these lines. "I am the boss. You do what I say. I have the right because I'm the boss. Nobody is going to come and lock anyone up. You go right ahead and try that, they will laugh at you." I really like the state that I live in because they have no discretion in accepting a charge against some other person or entity. If I believe you have assaulted me, and I can meet the slightest example given in the law, then they must act on it. The courts will decide if I am right or wrong. I have on three occasions had an employer arrested, and once did so personally. I really hate civil law though, because it is essentially a system put in place to allow the wealthy to purchase the right to mistreat others. If a person has enough money they can do whatever they like in violation of civil law. Criminal law however, that is the ticket. Nothing, and I mean nothing, changes a bad attitude faster than half a pound of stainless steel wrapped around the wrists. Let some pouty, spoiled boss who never even got his hands dirty wind up in in a filthy jail cell with rapists, pushers, thugs, and dope dealers and they get real compliant with the law real quick. The only job I have ever had where I was convinced that eminently one of my co-workers was coming in with an AK47 to shoot everyone was changed by having the boss locked up. It only took one time and from that day forward all I had to do was look the guy in his face and say, "Dan, if you take one more step in my direction you are guilty of harrassment. Back off and leave me alone or I will call the police." and the crap stopped. Then he would go back to talking things out instead of getting in my face, yelling, spitting when he talked etc.
                    Last edited by Stridor; 07-13-2007, 04:28 AM.

                    Comment

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