Workplace bullying legislative movement prompts changes to employer liability insurance policies

An online insurance industry newsletter published by (link here) reports that some employers are requesting that insurance companies include workplace bullying in their employment practice liability insurance (EPLI) policies.

According to writer Susanne Sclafane, driving this trend is growing employer recognition that enactment of workplace bullying legislation (i.e., the Healthy Workplace Bill) is a real possibility.

Chartis responds to bullying legislation

For example, according to Sclafane, Joni Mason, senior vice president for the Chartis Insurance stated that:

…Chartis expanded its Employment Edge EPLI policy to include workplace bullying because insureds were asking about it. With states continuing to introduce legislation, “it’s a concern for our clients,” she says. “If states start passing any of the proposals, or if a federal law gets passed, you are going to see a flood of claims. It’s going to be a huge concern both for employers and carriers, and we will have to address that separately.”

Let’s talk about people…and their health & dignity

EPLI policies have become a fact of life in corporate America, and I certainly understand why an insurance industry newsletter would be discussing the potential impact of workplace bullying legislation.

In fact, it’s a sign of the growing strength of the movement to enact the Healthy Workplace Bill that employers and their insurance companies are anticipating its passage.

However, let’s not forget the core crisis fueling the movement itself: The frequency and severity of bullying in the workplace. We’re talking about worker health and dignity here, priorities that too many employers have ignored for way too long.

One response

  1. Dear Dr. Yamada:

    I thought you might like to know…

    … In reference to the Workplace Bullying Movement and the above related post Do school bullying laws pave the way for Healthy Workplace Bill;? and, the news clip I heard on our local Fox 29 News last week: Professionals are studying that the stress in the homes in one form or another may be paving the way for the Healthy Workplace Bill:

    I have sent a email to both the NJ Assembly Labor Chair, Honorable Joseph V. Egan and the NJ Senate Labor Chair, Honorable Fred H. Madden, Jr. requesting that NJ Healthy Workplace Bill A673/S2515 be posted for vote. Originally sponsored by now Senator Linda Greenstein in 2006, accompanied with Professor Yamada and Drs. Gary & Ruth Namie in New Brunswick, NJ in 11/2008.

    On Sat, 4/30/11, Fran Gray wrote:

    From: Fran Gray
    Subject: Labor Bill: A673/S2515 – Healthy Workplace Bill – Waiting to be Posted Since 2006
    Date: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 5:43 PM

    Dear Honorable Senator Fred H. Madden, Jr., NJ Labor Chair: and Honorable Assemblyman Joseph V. Egan, NJ Labor Chair: (Separate emails)

    Bullying is when an individual/s forces their will, unjustly, on another human person/s. Even God doesn’t force His Will on us.

    Why then as law makers, do you not do more to stop this epidemic on productive employees? Bullying is not in New Jersey’s current labor laws.

    We all know someone who has been stricken with cancer; similarly, Bullying in our workplaces attacks ones’ dignity and ones’ livelihood on productive employees (who actually do their jobs well) affecting our homes; our families; our schools; our culture; and, eventually our state: This is being studied by professionals focusing on “why do bullies bully in school?” stated last week on Fox 29 News at 10:00pm.

    I would like to request that the Labor Committee take a closer look at what Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie of “Workplace Bullying Institute” in Washington State and Professor, Dr. David Yamada in Boston, MA at “SSRN” and “Minding the Workplace” call a ‘Silent Epidemic’

    Fran Gray

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