U.S. legislative developments concerning workplace bullying (2013-15)

I just posted to my Social Science Research Network (SSRN) page a draft of a forthcoming law review essay, “Workplace Bullying and the Law: U.S. Legislative Developments 2013-15,” slated to appear later this year in the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, published by the Chicago-Kent College of Law. This short piece is a follow-up to a panel presentation I gave in January at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.

Here’s the abstract:

In 2014, California and Tennessee enacted statutes covering workplace bullying, making them the first American states to codify laws addressing this form of interpersonal mistreatment at work. These two statutes led a procession of recent legal and policy initiatives concerning workplace bullying in the United States, which also included a vetoed state bill and continued advocacy at the state levels for enactment of comprehensive workplace anti-bullying legislation. This essay, a follow-up to my panel presentation at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, will discuss significant legislative developments concerning workplace bullying at the state levels, covering 2013 through early 2015. It is the latest in my series of periodic law review commentaries about workplace bullying and American employment law.

The essay focuses on four states: It summarizes and analyzes the new California and Tennessee laws. It discusses the merits of a gubernatorial veto of workplace bullying legislation in New Hampshire. Finally, it examines the fortunes of the Healthy Workplace Bill in Massachusetts. This is by no means a comprehensive summary of legislative activity during the past three years, but rather takes a snapshot look at some of the most significant recent developments.

You may download pdfs of this piece and my other law review commentaries without charge from my SSRN page.

3 responses

  1. In California, are employers affected by AB 2053–Mandatory Supervisor Training on Harassment and Discrimination–required to provide documentation and specifics about the trainings that take place? How long must records be kept, and are they submitted to the state? What happens if an employer is in violation of the mandatory trainings?

    Also, I need a little help understanding. I recently read Black educator, S.L. Young’s excellent essay, “Laws Protect Certain Classes From Workplace Abuse: Why Not Everyone.” I’m aware that the protection of citizens is one of the first orders of government. I’m aware that the 14th Amend “equal protection clause” is currently being used in lawsuits to protect the right of marriage for gays and lesbians (and more power to them) all across this country: “…No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” I have excellent abusive behavior, intentional infliction, hostile environment, retaliation, and bullying in the workplace cases, yet I can’t get past the EEOC requirement for being a member of a protected class. To deny some classes of people a cause of action, or judicial review, or due process, while other groups are given complete access, seems a clear case of disparate treatment and a violation of Section 1. Why haven’t there been equal protection lawsuits re workplace abusive behavior and protected classes?

    • Charles, I appreciate the questions you’ve raised, but in order to answer them, I would have to write out a short treatise on employment law and constitutional law, and some would require both legal research and a closer knowledge of your situation to adequately vet. I’m sorry I can’t be more responsive on your points.

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