During the past few days, articles in Time and Parade magazines are evidence that the movement to enact the Healthy Workplace Bill has entered the mainstream. We are witnessing the next big steps in the quest to provide severely abused workers with the protections they need and deserve.
The mere presence of the piece in Parade, which is included in Sunday editions of newspapers across the country, is a big deal. Parade captures America’s heartland. But there’s more:
Online poll results
Online polls are hardly scientific, and the Parade poll on whether readers support or oppose workplace bullying legislation is no exception. Still, it is significant that, as of today, some 92 percent of respondents to the online poll have voted in favor of the proposition that workplace bullying should be illegal.
Parade doesn’t make it easy to add online comments to its articles. Its comment function is dodgy, and those who wish to post longer comments must go through an elaborate registration process. Regardless, the overwhelming majority of posted comments expressed deep concern over workplace bullying, and most supported legal intervention.
Adam Cohen, writing for Time, pens an informative and very evenhanded article on the status of workplace bullying legislation:
Worker abuse is a widespread problem — in a 2007 Zogby poll, 37% of American adults said they had been bullied at work — and most of it is perfectly legal. . . . But the law generally does not protect against plain old viciousness.
That may be about to change. Workers’ rights advocates have been campaigning for years to get states to enact laws against workplace bullying, and in May they scored their biggest victory. The New York state senate passed a bill that would let workers sue for physical, psychological or economic harm due to abusive treatment on the job.
Time represents establishment, middle America — solid, conservative, no-nonsense. When a fair & balanced piece on an emerging social movement shows up in Time, it’s a sign that change is in the air.
The Time piece is being carried on the Yahoo! home page today, and comments are piling in.