The Healthy Workplace Bill
Massachusetts has joined the race to become the first state in the union to enact the Healthy Workplace Bill, legislation that provides targets of severe workplace bullying with a legal cause of action.


The Healthy Workplace Bill creates a legal claim for bullying targets who can establish that they were subjected to malicious, health-harming behavior. It also provides defenses for employers who act preventively and responsively with regard to bullying and includes provisions to discourage frivolous claims.

Read the full bill »


What happened so far in the 2013-2014 legislative session:

  • This legislative session, the bill was filed as House Bill 1766 by Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst) and Senator Katherine Clark (D-Melrose). Thirty-seven co-sponsors — triple the number from the previous legislative session — have so far supported the bill thanks to our advocates contacting their legislators directly:

    Rep. Denise Andrews (D-Orange)

    Rep. Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow)
    Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton)
    Rep. Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)
    Rep. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton)
    Rep. Gailanne Cariddi (D-North Adams)
    Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
    Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield)
    Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)
    Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton)
    Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster)
    Rep. John Fresolo (D-Worcester)
    Rep. Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough)
    Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset)
    Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown)
    Rep. Carlos Henriquez (D-Dorchester)
    Rep. Russell Holmes (D-Boston)
    Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Brighton)
    Rep. Lou Kafka (D-Stoughton)
    Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy)
    Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton)
    Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton)
    Senator Michael Knapik (R-Westfield)
    Rep. John Lawn (D-Watertown)
    Rep. John Mahoney (D-Worcester)
    Rep. Brian Mannal (D-Barnstable)
    Senator Thomas McGee (D-Lynn)
    Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham)
    Rep. James O'Day (D-West Boylston)
    Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
    Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley)
    Rep. Carl Sciortino, Jr. (D-Medford)
    Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline)
    Rep. Theodore Speliotis (D-Danvers)
    Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield)
    Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke)
    Senator James Welch (D-West Springfield)
  • We obtained formal endorsement from the following organizations this session alone:
    Berkshire Central Labor Council
    Berkshire County Correctional Officers Local 29
    Boston Democratic Socialists of America
    Boston Teachers Union
    The Educational Association of Worcester
    Harvard Student Labor Action Movement
    Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses
    Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
    Moishe Kavod Jewish Social Justice House
    North Shore Labor Council
    Occupy Falmouth
    Read the full list of official endorsers »

Next steps we need to reach in order for the bill to become law in Massachusetts:

  • The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development held a public hearing where it heard testimony. The committee moved the bill onto a Second Reading in the House.
  • In the Second Reading, debate begins. The bill is subject to amendments.
  • If approved, the bill is then ordered to a Third Reading in the House. In this phase, the bill is examined for legality, constitutionality, and the duplication or contradiction of existing law and then heads back to the House or Senate floor for debate and amendments.
  • If approved, the bill moves onto the Engrossment Committee at the Third Reading.
  • If approved, the Senate considers the bill through three readings and engrossment. If amended, the bill returns to the House for another vote. If the bill is rejected, three members of each branch draft a compromise bill.
  • The bill gets enacted by the legislature.
  • The bill gets signed by the governor. Ninety days after the governor's signature, the bill becomes law.


What happened in the 2011-2012 legislative session:

What happened in the 2009-2010 legislative session:

  • Senator Joan M. Menard, a Senate leader, sponsored this bill.
  • The union SEIU/NAGE and the Massachusetts Teachers Union formally supported this bill.
  • The Healthy Workplace Advocates spoke at a legislative hearing of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on January 27, 2010.