On May 12, the New York State Senate passed the Healthy Workplace Bill by a 45-16 vote. The next stop for the bill is the State Assembly.
This is the second time this year that the Healthy Workplace Bill has been approved in a state legislative floor vote, the first being a vote in the Illinois Senate.
Bipartisanship can work!
In a news release, Senator Thomas Morahan (R-Rockland Co.), co-prime sponsor with Senator George Onorato (D-Queens), highlighted the bipartisan cooperation that led to passage in the Senate:
“The social and economic well-being of the State is dependent upon healthy, safe, and productive employees,” said Senator Morahan. “I want to thank all my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, who voted for this legislation today. In particular, Senator George Onorato, Chairman of the Labor Committee, Republican Leader Dean Skelos, Majority Conference Leader John Sampson and Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein for helping secure passage of the legislation”.
“I became aware of the prevalence of abusive environments in the workplace when one of my constituents brought her situation at her place of employment to my attention. It became apparent that legislation was needed to address the problem,” said Morahan.
In view of the gridlock and bitter political infighting that we’re seeing in this country, it is heartening to me that Republican and Democratic legislative leaders can come together to support legislation that will safeguard the health and dignity of all workers.
Thank you, Tom and Mike
Special kudos go to New York Healthy Workplace Advocate State Coordinators Mike Schlicht and Tom Witt, whose tireless efforts on behalf of the legislation have been largely responsible for this development. Their work has been an excellent example of how steadfast commitment and smart advocacy can make a difference.
Next step: The New York State Assembly
Looking ahead to advocating for the bill in the Assembly, the New York Healthy Workplace Advocates circulated this request to New York supporters of the Healthy Workplace Bill:
Dear Healthy Workplace Advocate,
Big news! The Healthy Workplace Bill was passed in the New York State Senate today!!! (Now we need the Assembly to do the same!)
If you haven’t already done so, please send us a letter detailing your workplace bullying experience or at the very least, us the template letter below to request our state Assemblymembers to pass the bill in their house. We need your letter ASAP and by May 17, 2010 to show to the leadership in the New York State Assembly to try to get the Healthy Workplace Bill passed into law by the end of June 2010!
Time is of the essence and you can email your letter to us at email@example.com as well.
If you can, please also ask a few others to send a letter too!
The letter writing campaign in just a short ten days made a tremendous impact on the New York State Senate, now it is time to show the Assembly these letters and yours to get the Healthy Workplace Bill passed!
Thanks so much (in advance)!
Please send your typed or hand written letter ASAP to:
Elected Representative of the New York State Legislature
c/o New York Health Workplace Advocates
P.O. Box 43
Amherst, NY 14226
or send via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use the template below as a guide to write your letter because we received a request to ask you to include the name of your state senator and your state assemblymember at the beginning of your letter.
May 12, 2010
The New York Legislature
c/o New York Healthy Workplace Advocates
PO Box 43
Amherst, NY 14226
Dear Elected Representative:
My state senator is ____________ _ and my state assemblymember is ____________ , and I am appealing to you in your role as an influential member of the New York State Legislature to advance and enact into law the Healthy Workplace Bill S1823 / A5414 this legislative session. The bill addresses workplace bullying.
I have witnessed <or experienced> bullying in the workplace <describe the harm it caused to the individual(s) involved and to the employer>. <Also, please try to keep your letter to one page if possible to make it easier to reproduce>.
Please do everything you can to bring this bill to a vote this legislative session.
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