A new, scientific Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) national survey on workplace bullying shows strong public support for workplace anti-bullying legislation.
WBI’s 2017 survey is the latest in a series that includes similar polls in 2014, 2010, and 2007. On the question of support for workplace anti-bullying legislation, survey participants were asked: “Do you support or oppose enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated health-harming abusive mistreatment in addition to protections against illegal discrimination and harassment?” Some 77 percent of respondents said they “strongly support” or “somewhat support” the enactment of such a law. Here are their specific responses:
- 47% “Strongly support”
- 30% “Somewhat support”
- 15% “Not sure”
- 4% “Somewhat oppose”
- 4% “Strongly oppose”
It is notable that the survey question itself tracks the language of the Healthy Workplace Bill, model legislation I have authored that provides bullied workers with a legal claim for damages and creates liability-reducing incentives for employers to act preventively and responsively toward bullying behaviors.
Other key survey info
Here are other key results from the 2017 report, as summarized by Dr. Gary Namie:
- 19% of Americans are bullied, another 19% witness it
- 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace
- 60 million Americans are affected by it
- 70% of perpetrators are men; 60% of targets are women
- Hispanics are the most frequently bullied race
- 61% of bullies are bosses, the majority (63%) operate alone
- 40% of bullied targets are believed to suffer adverse health effects
- 29% of targets remain silent about their experiences
- 71% of employer reactions are harmful to targets
- 60% of coworker reactions are harmful to targets
- To stop it, 65% of targets lose their original jobs
The 2017 WBI survey was conducted in conjunction with Zogby Analytics and significantly underwritten by the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees.