Thursday, May 13, 2010

New York is fighting the good fight against workplace bullying

Yesterday New York's senate passed S1823B. If enacted, victims of abusive work environments may have relief via legal action. Though we are not in the clear yet - NY Assembly must first pass A5414B and the Governor must sign it off, which is no easy feat.

According to documentarian and blogger Beverly Peterson, "This time last year, Paterson vetoed a bill with a much less immediate impact and an intention to explore the best way to legislate hostile work environments. Had he put his pen on the dotted line the study results would be in place right about now to help guide lawmakers toward a legal solution."

Mike Schlicht, State Coordinator (Upstate) for the New York Healthy Workplace Advocates, had this to say:

"History was made today in New York State with the passage of Bill S1823B “The Healthy Workplace Bill” that allows employees and employers to address the issue of workplace bullying. Sixty-two courageous state Senators have spoken that workplace bullying will no longer be tolerated in the workplace and employees who bully others will not be able to hide behind their employer and make them responsible for their own actions as is with protected status harassment. Likewise, employers who do not address this form of workplace violence will have to do so and while not all of them with be pleased with the legislation, proactive employers will now have a tool to rid themselves of bullies who undermine the bottom line, increase health care premiums, increase turnover and create workers comp and disability issues. On behalf of all employees, present and former who have experienced this form of workplace violence, I sincerely thank the courageous Senators of New York State for passing this legislation."

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