Tell the Wall Street Journal that Workplace Bullying is Not Mere “Nastiness”

The Wall Street Journal, reporting on the New York State Senate’s passage of the Healthy Workplace Bill, ran this headline:

State Anti-Bully Law Would Let Workers Sue for Nastiness

The Healthy Workplace Bill is not about everyday dust-ups, arguments, or jerky behavior at work.  When enacted into law, a worker seeking relief under the statute will have to show that the bullying behavior was malicious and harmful.  That’s a high standard for recovery, far beyond mere “nastiness.”

R.M. Schneiderman’s article goes on to state:

Amid the furor over Gov. Paterson’s furlough plan this week, few seemed to notice when the state Senate passed a bipartisan measure on Wednesday that would give workers who have been physically, psychologically or economically abused by their employers the ability to sue in civil court.

But opponents of the law, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are quickly lining up to say the measure’s passage in the state Assembly would result in lots of costly litigation.

The article goes on to detail some of the arguments that have been made against the Healthy Workplace Bill.  If you’d like to post your response to the article, here’s the link.


Earlier post: New York State Senate passes Healthy Workplace Bill; Assembly next

One response

  1. I just added the following comment to the Wall Street Journal article:

    A less obvious layer to the issue of workplace abuse is the impact on witnesses to the abuse. Consider children who are witnesses to domestic violence. A similar dynamic occurs in the workplace. The costs: high absenteeism, high turnover (if the witness to the abuse can afford to quit), lowered productivity, mental and physical health issues, and a sick society.

    The headline to this article is unfortunate and misleading. The Healthy Workplace legislation is not about “nastiness.”

    It is about “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms: a) verbal abuse, b) offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating or intimidating, and c) work interference – sabotage – which prevents work from getting done. (Please refer to the Healthy Workplace Bill website:

    Thank you.
    Debra Healy
    Healy Conflict Management Services

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