SUPPORT THE BILL

How To Support the Healthy Workplace Bill

Top ways you can help, in order of effectiveness:

1. Contact your state senator and/or representative and urge him/her to support House Bill 1766. Ask if they are willing to support the bill and if you can schedule a meeting with your senator or rep to explain your personal story. Report the response to info@mahealthyworkplace.com. Since legislators want to hear directly from their constituents, the single most effective action you can take is to meet with your own legislators, tell them your story if you have one, and ask them to support the bill.

Find out who your legislators are »

 

Sample emails to your legislators:

 

LETTER 1

 

Dear [Representative or Senator's name here]:


I am writing to ask you to support House Bill No. 1766, the Healthy Workplace Bill. The purpose of this bill is to provide workers with a legal claim for malicious bullying behavior that has caused physical or psychological harm without regard to protected class status. It imposes liability on both individual aggressors and employers while encouraging employers to prevent bullying from occurring. (This bill also discourages weak and frivolous claims from clogging our courts.) This bill is considered a job-killing bill by some pro-business groups, when in reality the current gap in the law severely hurts the bottom line for businesses. The amount of money businesses spend on bullies can fund several other positions.


The workplace bullying problem

According to a 2014 national survey by Zogby International and the Workplace Bullying Institute, 27 percent of workers have experienced workplace bullying, and almost half of these workers were eventually pushed out of their jobs. More than 72 percent of employers who received complaints about workplace bullying either ignored the problem or made it worse.


More than half of workplace bullies are supervisors. They make false accusations of errors and mistakes, yell, shout, and scream, exclude their victims, withhold resources and information necessary to the job, sabotage and defame behind-the-back, use put-downs, insults, and excessively harsh criticism, and make unreasonably heavy work demands.


The costs for businesses

Workplace bullying costs add up and hurt bottom lines. Costs incurred by a company holding onto a bully include:

High turnover. Surveys estimate that 20-30 percent of targets and witnesses quit as a direct result of workplace bullying (Financial Week, 2007). According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, businesses spend at least 1.5 times a worker’s salary to replace him, including costs in recruiting, interviewing, and training. So a position earning $100,000 annually results in $400,000 in costs to a company if the position is vacated twice in five years because of a workplace bully.

Lost productivity. Targets lose motivation, spend time looking for other work, and talk about bullying behavior instead of work. Bullies withhold information targets need to perform their jobs sufficiently, witnesses calm targets, and managers reorganize groups. According to Yahoo Finance, productivity declines as much as 40 percent in workplaces with bullies.


Increased healthcare. Mental and physical illness from stress (heart disease and clinical depression, for example) result in higher health insurance and workers compensation costs.


Absenteeism and short-term disability. According to Yahoo Finance, employees who work for bullies call out sick more often. In fact, 12-18 percent of short-term disability claims are psychological claims related to bullying, with each absent employee out of work 60-80 days on average. One large employer spent more than $1 million in a two-year period to cover short-term disability costs related to bullying.


The cost breakdown. Businesses can calculate costs of keeping a bully on board. Civility Partners LLC calculates these potential costs:
· Bully’s direct manager counseling bully: 80 hours, $8,000
· Witnesses talking with target about the bullying experience: 100 hours, $6,000
· HR talking with managers, bully, and target: 10 hours, $1,500
· HR talking with Executives about the problem: 5 hours, $1,500
· HR recruiting and training target’s replacement: $40,000
· Team and department members training new employee: 160 hours, $10,000
Estimated total cost of bully: $67,000


How the Healthy Workplace Bill will solve the problem

Managers who get rid of bullies benefit financially. One study shows that “companies who focus on effective internal functioning and communication enjoy a 57 percent higher total return, are more than 4.5 times more likely to have highly engaged employees, and are 20 percent more likely to report reduced turnover when compared to competitors who demonstrate ineffective communication practices” (Civility Partners LLC, 2009).


Passage of the bill will help businesses by reducing absenteeism and turnover, increasing work productivity and morale, and reducing employee benefit costs. This bill will encourage employers to prevent behaviors that destroy productivity and morale and will support public health by reducing mistreatment that harms workers and their families and adds costs to our health care system.


Holding employers accountable for creating healthy workplaces creates more jobs and is simply better for our economy.


Sincerely,

[Your Name]

 

 

 

 

LETTER 2:

 

Dear [Representative or Senator's name here]:


I am writing to ask you to support House Bill No. 1766, the Healthy Workplace Bill. The purpose of this bill is to provide workers with a legal claim for malicious bullying behavior that has caused physical or psychological harm without regard to protected class status. It imposes liability on both individual aggressors and employers while encouraging employers to prevent bullying from occurring. (This bill also discourages weak and frivolous claims from clogging our courts.)


The workplace bullying problem

According to a 2014 national survey by Zogby International and the Workplace Bullying Institute, 27 percent of workers have experienced workplace bullying, and almost half of these workers were eventually pushed out of their jobs. More than 72 percent of employers who received complaints about workplace bullying either ignored the problem or made it worse.


More than half of workplace bullies are supervisors. They make false accusations of errors and mistakes, yell, shout, and scream, exclude their victims, withhold resources and information necessary to the job, sabotage and defame behind-the-back, use put-downs, insults and excessively harsh criticism, and make unreasonably heavy work demands.


My story

[One sentence about who you are (where you worked and what you did). Use facts to paint a picture of your experience here, briefly describing how you felt as professionally as possible while still using emotional detail. You may name names as long as the description is factual.]


My employer reacted by [your employer's reaction here].


My experience has impacted me by [impact here].


In addition, the experience left an impact on the organization. [Describe the impact here.]


How the Healthy Workplace Bill will solve the problem

Passage of the bill will benefit the community by decreasing health problems associated with workplace bullying: stress disorders, clinical depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, impaired immune systems, symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and destructive impact on personal relationships. The law will also help businesses by increasing work productivity and morale, reducing absenteeism and turnover, and reducing employee benefit costs.


We as workers have a right to do our jobs without disabling interference. This bill will encourage employers to prevent behaviors that destroy productivity and morale and will support public health by reducing mistreatment that harms workers and their families and adds costs to our health care system.

Sincerely,


[Your Name]

 

2. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper describing why you support the Healthy Workplace Bill. Read an example »

If you need assistance and would like us to proofread your article, e-mail info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

 

3. Become an Action Team Manager or join an Action Team:

 

Barnstable County
Gail Almeida, gailfrances54@aol.com

 

Berkshire County

To apply, email info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

Bristol County
Terry Reynolds, octophobe08@gmail.com


Essex County
Colleen Walsh, colleenwalsh939@yahoo.com


Hampden County
Marcia Eagleson, runtly1@yahoo.com


Hampshire County
Michael Regish, Mregish1@comcast.net


Middlesex County
To apply, email info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

 

Nantucket County
To apply, email info@mahealthyworkplace.com.


Norfolk County
Amy Clark, 1Localidea@gmail.com


Plymouth County
Beth Kidder, beth.kidder@comcast.net


Suffolk County
To apply, email info@mahealthyworkplace.com.


Worcester County
Dora Locke, dora.locke@gmail.com


4. If you are a member of a group that might consider endorsing the Healthy Workplace Bill, reach out to the group about its possible support or if you're a leader of a group that supports the bill, e-mail info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

 

5. Post a link to this slideshow or video on Facebook to educate others on the Healthy Workplace Bill:

http://prezi.com/i1h9lcalopsx/healthy-workplace-bill/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6SbYi7jvJ0


6. Share your personal story on this website. E-mail info@mahealthyworkplace.com.

 

7. Sign the petition »


8. Pass around the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill Fact Sheet or send this link to those who have experienced or witnessed workplace bullying.
Download Version #1 »
Download Version #2 »

9. Join the Facebook group, Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter for updates on the progress of this bill.

 

10. Write to employment lawyers, social workers, and psychologists about the Healthy Workplace Bil using the template above, but also ask them to tell their clients about the bill.

11. Sign up for the Massachusetts Workplace Bullying Law e-newsletter »

 

12. Share these photos on Facebook:
What is workplace bullying?

Work shouldn't hurt

Tactics

Organizations allow bullies to bully

How workplace bullies impact businesses

Top seven reasons to support the Healthy Workplace Bill

Bullying is domestic violence at work

Four times more common

 

13. Hand out flyers in front of T stations, commuter rail stations, and/or hospitals during rush hour. Make copies of the first flyer from #8 on this list or e-mail info@mahealthyworkplace.com with your name and address, and we'll mail you flyers.

 


Ambassador's Toolkit:

Prezi presentation

What is workplace bullying? video

Why we need a law video

Overview of the bill flyer

End workplace bullying video

Myths vs. realities: rebuttals to concerns