How to support the Healthy Workplace Bill

We’re moving closer to the day when the Healthy Workplace Bill will become law in states across the nation. Getting that first state to adopt it is the toughest hurdle, but once the dam is broken, many others will follow.

If you want to see workplace anti-bullying legislation enacted in your state, here’s by far the most effective route to take:

Contact your state legislators

Contact your state legislators

Contact your state legislators

Visit them, mail them, call them, or e-mail them. But do press your case. Ask them to sponsor or co-sponsor the Healthy Workplace Bill. Ask them to exercise their influence to move the HWB through the thicket of the legislative process. Thank them when they do so.

Some points to consider:

1. It’s most essential that you contact your own legislators. Legislators listen closely to their constituents, i.e., voters in their district.

2. Share your story. Let them know, in personal terms and in your own words, that workplace bullying is about abusive, hurtful mistreatment at work.

3. If your legislator declines to support the HWB, don’t be angry or disrespectful, but try again on another occasion.

Other measures

Here are some other useful things you can do:

1. If you are a member of an advocacy or professional organization that endorses legislation, ask that group to formally support the HWB.

2. Post supportive online comments to news articles discussing the Healthy Workplace Bill and workplace bullying in general.

3. Write letters to the editor of your local paper expressing support for the Healthy Workplace Bill.

Notice what I didn’t mention: “Liking” or commenting on a Facebook post about workplace bullying is fine, but it doesn’t substitute for direct advocacy. Signing an online petition may create a sense of solidarity, but it pales in effectiveness next to personal contact with your legislators.

Bottom line

I think you get the message. It’s all about persuading those in a position to support and vote on the Healthy Workplace Bill.

Be assured that powerful interests that oppose workplace bullying legislation are quietly spreading their message in state capitols across the country. They have money and power behind them, and they want to ensure that employers will not face liability for this form of abuse.

It’s up to us to say that we, as a society, must do better than that.

***

Resources

National website for the Healthy Workplace Bill campaign — Check here to see if your state is actively considering the HWB, and to become part of a network of grassroots activists supporting it.

Massachusetts website for the Healthy Workplace Bill campaign — The HWB has been introduced in the current, 2013-14 session as House No. 1766. At this website you can sign up for updates about what you can do to support it.

Six-minute video explaining the need for the Healthy Workplace Bill — A short, snappy, informative video prepared by Deb Falzoi of the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Advocates.

2 responses

  1. My letter of support for the Healthy Workplace legislation–

    Dear Bill Sponsor:

    If you support this legislation, I thank you. If you don’t I ask, why not? Abusive workplaces create health hazards for employees and undermine productivity and profits for employers. No one wins except the perpetrators.

    We must never defend abuse. Opponents have lost their moral compass. Apparently as seen from recent events in the news, workplace bullying exists in every artery of business including pro sports and politics.

    My experience with bullying has been personal and destructive and it affected both me and my family. I have worked for a bully for 20 years and have suffered many health issues both physically and emotionally, but I persevered because I needed to support my family. Throughout those 20 years I have tried to transfer to another dept to no avail. I can only suspect that the bully had some influence in keeping me under her thumb. Recently a co worker who witnessed this bully’s harassment supported my complaints and after many years of trying to stop this bully, I finally had some relief. I question the negligence and delay in taking action in my case, although it is typical of businesses to support the bully and discredit the victim. I urge you to support this legislation and provide avenues of relief for the victim and consequences for the bully. We as a civilized population have tolerated such abuse in schools and workplaces for too long. We have emphasized the need to protect and support our students and it is time to do the same for our workers.

    This bill represents protections for Americans who work for a living. Your support bolsters your standing as a true populist.

    P.S. In case you are wondering if the bullying has stopped for me, no it hasn’t. It just slowed down for awhile, but it has not stopped and it won’t ever stop until I leave my place of employment or you as the representatives of working people support this legislation.

  2. Very nicely put, Dee. Eloquent, articulate, and straight to the point. The strongest argument here is that elected representatives who support working Americans would support the Healthy Workplace Bill.

    I also appreciate the practical advice in the original post.

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