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Healthy Workplace Bill (Anti-Workplace Bullying) in New York

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  • Healthy Workplace Bill (Anti-Workplace Bullying) in New York

    Last I read, There is the possibility that New York might be the first state to embrace the HWB. This would be an amendment to the already existing labor laws. Unfortunately, we are still awaiting the bill to be passed. If this becomes a reality, One of my biggest questions would be...


    -If I was a victim of workplace bullying years prior, and if I am no longer employed at said workplace, Am I still entitled to file a charge against the company even if the event(s) took place years ago. I know about the statute of limitations but if people weren't protected by this law in previous years, they should be grandfathered the same rights. IMO.

    Here is an excerpt from an online article:

    The New York State Legislature introduced an anti-bullying bill in 2010, which passed in the Senate,(5) but was put on hold in the Assembly. In early 2011, an identical bill was introduced in the New York State Assembly and Senate,(6) and is currently under consideration. Supporters of the proposed legislation are hopeful that New York will be the first state to pass it, prodding other states to follow its lead.(7)
    The bill would amend the New York Labor Law by providing legal redress for employees who are subjected to an “abusive work environment,” which exists when an employee is “subjected to abusive conduct that is so severe that it causes physical or psychological harm.”(8) The bill defines “abusive conduct,” as “conduct, with malice, taken against an employee by an employer or another employee in the workplace, that a reasonable person would find to be hostile, offensive and unrelated to the employer’s legitimate business interests.”(9)
    A single act will not constitute abusive conduct unless it is “especially severe or egregious,”(10) similar to the standard for hostile work environment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.(11) Furthermore, the bill requires employees to notify their employers of the abusive conduct.(12) After receiving such notice, employers must eliminate the abusive conduct, and may not retaliate against individuals who participated in the complaint process.(13)
    The bill does provide employers with two alternative affirmative defenses. First, an employer may have an affirmative defense against a claim if it can demonstrate that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the abusive conduct and the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the appropriate preventative or corrective opportunities that it provided.(14) This defense is not available if the abusive conduct culminated in an adverse employment decision with respect to the complaining employee (e.g., termination or demotion); however, the employer can assert an alternative defense that any such decision was consistent with the employer’s legitimate business interests.(15)
    The remedies available under the bill include reinstatement, removal of the offending party from the complainant’s work environment, reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses, compensation for emotional distress, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.(16) However, in cases where there was no adverse employment decision, emotional distress damages are capped at $25,000 and punitive damages are not available.(17) As an additional safeguard against unjust enrichment, the bill precludes employees who have collected Workers’ Compensation benefits for conditions arising out of an abusive work environment from bringing a claim pursuant to the law for the same such conditions.(18)


    Workplace Bullying: a Global Issue
    by Erika C. Collins, New York Law Journal, Oct. 24, 2011
    Last edited by Bruce Banner; 06-21-2012, 05:02 PM.

  • #2
    Are there copyright issues with this posting.
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
    Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Morgana View Post
      Are there copyright issues with this posting.
      Why would there be copyright issues with this posting????? Are you kidding me. Unless I'm not allowed to cut and paste an article from the internet onto this forum, I see no issues.

      Comment


      • #4
        Always safer to cite the source if you want to fall under the "fair use" exception to the copyright laws.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          It's always best to post a link to the source or at least name the source of the article.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DAW View Post
            Always safer to cite the source if you want to fall under the "fair use" exception to the copyright laws.
            Done.

            ...

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            • #7
              If I was a victim of workplace bullying years prior, and if I am no longer employed at said workplace, Am I still entitled to file a charge against the company even if the event(s) took place years ago.

              There is no possible way to answer that question now with certainty. When and if such a law is passed, then and only then will we know when it is effective and whether or not it can be implemented retroactively. Do not hold your breath or bet the rent that you will be able to file a charge violating a law that was not in effect at the time.
              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.

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              • #8
                Agree. The proposed law may not even be passed. If it is, only then will anyone be able to know how it is to be applied.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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