New York supporters of the Healthy Workplace Bill held a press conference in Albany on Monday to call for passage of the workplace anti-bullying legislation. As reported by Rebecca Melnitsky for the Albany Times Union (link here):
With the support of many unions and workers advocacy groups, Sen. Diane Savino and Assemblyman Steve Englebright urged the legislature to pass the Healthy Workplace Bill. . . .
Englebright said he had recently spoken to Assembly Labor Committee chairman Keith Wright. “He indicated that he wanted to move this bill, and would do so. So part of what we’re announcing this morning is that this is a priority for this session.”
Englebright said the bill has 82 sponsors in the Assembly.
Readers can watch the entire press conference (or just parts of it) by clicking the YouTube link above. Speakers included elected officials, representatives from unions and professional organizations, and individuals who have experienced workplace bullying. Here’s the full list:
Senator Diane Savino, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, Assemblymember Dennis Gabryszak, Assemblyman Mark Johns, Tom Witt (NYHWA) , Mike Schlicht (NYHWA), Michael S. Garry (Healthcare Coordinating Council – CWA District 1), Iris DeLutro (Professional Staff Congress), Tom Comanzo (Public Employees Federation ), John Richter (Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.) Brett Scudder (SISFI), Neil Dias, Diana Whitaker, Colleen O’Connor, Heidi Ellerton DiTonno.
Yes, wow. Less than a decade ago, the idea that a major state would be taking workplace anti-bullying legislation seriously was considered pure fancy. I must admit, when I wrote the first draft of the HWB in the early 2000s, I anticipated that it would be treated as an idealistic academic model, unlikely to be debated in the halls of legislatures.
An Albany press conference featuring leading legislators, union and professional group officials, and bullying targets shows that we’ve come a long way. And thanks in large part to the steadfast efforts of Mike Schlicht and Tom Witt, co-coordinators of the legislative advocacy effort in New York, passage of the HWB has become a priority for legislative leaders of the Empire State.