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Pass the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL

Petition published by mary_kirk on Oct 22, 2008
499 Signatures 
Target: Lawmakers

Petition Background (Preamble):

STOP Workplace Bullying


Please only sign this petition if you are a citizen of the United States.

Workplace bullying -- interpersonal mistreatment, harassment, psychological violence -- directly affects approximately 37% of American workers. That is approximately 54 million Americans! It poses an occupational health hazard. Too few targeted individuals complain.

Existing laws require harassment to be discriminatory. Either race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation is required to be illegal. Approximately two-thirds of all harassment is 'status-blind' and legal. In 1998, the Washington Post editorialized "what bothers people about abusive workplace conduct, after all, is not the fact that it may be discriminatory but that it is abusive in the first place."

The Healthy Workplace Bill substitutes health-impairment for discrimination, and extends protection to all employees, working for either public or private employers, regardless of protected group status, who seek redress for being subjected to an abusive work environment. It becomes unlawful to be subjected to another employee whose malicious conduct sabotages or undermines the targeted person's work performance. Furthermore, the bill holds the bullying employee directly liable for the unlawful employment practice and punishes retaliation of the complainant.

Serious psychological violence, in sub-lethal and non-physical forms, creates an abusive workplace and affects the targeted person's health. Demonstrable physical or mental health harm can include shame, humiliation, stress, loss of sleep, severe anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reduced immunity to infection, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, and pathophysiologic changes that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The bill requires documentation of such impairment by a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or by competent expert evidence at trial.

Individual plaintiffs must rely solely on private attorneys. The State has no enforcement role. No government bureaucracy will be created or funded. Individuals may accept workers' compensation benefits in lieu of bringing action under this bill.

The bill seeks to compel employer prevention through internal policies and enforcement. No new employer regulations are created.

Unfortunately, the actual text of the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL to give to lawmakers is available only to authorized users -- State Coordinators and Registered Citizen Lobbyists whose lawmaker requested a copy.

(Courtesy of the Workplace Bullying Institute.)

Petition:

We, the undersigned believe it is crucial to our health and economy to pass the Anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill.

A Bill that:

Addresses only the most abusive, health-endangering circumstances including verbal abuse and offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating or intimidating, and work interference -- sabotage -- which prevents work from getting done.

Holds the bullying employee directly liable for the unlawful employment practice. He or she is the first one to sue. The employer may be vicariously liable. However, the bill provides ample opportunities for employers to not be held liable: (1) when it exercises reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the abusive conduct, and (2) when negative employment decisions are consistent with legitimate business interests, or the employee's poor performance, illegal or unethical activity.

Good employers with policies that honestly enforce them have nothing to fear.

Does not mandate "feeling good" principles, health must be damaged!

No new government bureaucracy; costs the state nothing.

The small penalties will discourage attorneys from taking weak cases -- low chance of frivolous cases.

The Pass the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL petition to Lawmakers was written by mary_kirk and is in the category Employment at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags:

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