Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Work Shouldn't Hurt - Workplace Bullying Does!

"It is Sunday evening and you wonder where the weekend went. The thought of going to work is making you feel sick to your stomach. You are calling in sick more often and dreading to go into work on Monday morning. For me, I would wake up in the morning and vomit or have hard dry heaves that left my stomach feeling turned inside out. One morning I experienced chest pains severe enough that I went to the emergency room. Though medical tests revealed that I wasn't having a heart attack, the ER doctor advised me to see a cardiologist.

Is your blood pressure too high? Are you experiencing headaches, stomach aches and/or bouts of diarrhea? Grinding your teeth at night? Or maybe you just can't sleep as you lay awake replaying an incident at work over and over in your mind? Do you feel exhausted and depressed from the oppressive atmosphere at work and the way you are being treated? You may be experiencing workplace bullying, a highly toxic experience that can tear your entire life apart.

At work you may notice your manager or even co-workers may be treating you differently than other workers. Someone may be watching when you arrive at work, how long you take breaks and what time you leave work. You may find you are given more and more work to do and what seems like impossible deadlines. Or you may find that the work projects that normally came your way are being passed on to someone else. You notice your co-workers going to meetings that you aren't told about. When you ask for the same training opportunities offered to others in the office, you are denied; the information necessary to do your job is withheld.

You may discover that someone else is taking credit for the work you did. No matter how hard you work, and you know you are doing the best job possible, you are told, either directly or indirectly, that it is not good enough...implying YOU are not good enough! You may find you are being reprimanded for incidental things that your coworkers do every day. You are afraid to speak up and say anything in fear you may be written up for insubordination or you may be accused of not being a team player.

Your supervisor may be in your face, yelling at your while others at work are being told not to talk to you. There are rules that apply to you but not to others in your office. You find that everything you do or say is being scrutinized. You feel isolated and alone as your career takes a dive. When you complain to management the situation worsens. You ask for a transfer and the transfer is denied. WORK SHOULDN'T HURT!"

California Healthy Workplace Advocates would like to thank the member who wrote this biography of experiences. If any of this is happening to you, please join our grass roots movement to pass a law to correct and prevent workplace bullying! Thankyou

Friday, July 17, 2009

Workplace Bullying- Arnold slipped this one in...


California Governor Arnold slipped this one over on us. Because fur was flying during the budget process, few noticed that off-shore drilling would be used to drum up the money needed to balance our goofed up political system. Would this kind of politics be considered a form or workplace bullying?

Wonder if Arnold has ever read Faust? He’s selling state cars with his signature on them. Wonder if he will sign his soul when he sells that too? Or maybe he already has.


Dealing with Workplace Bullying is passed to the next generation...

As quoted by Associated Press writer, Philip Elliot, on news.yahoo.com yesterday, "WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is telling the nation's oldest civil rights organization that government, families, and neighborhoods must work together to improve communities."

Did you know that on July, 2008, the NAACP National Convention proposed a resolution that (#15 Workplace Bullying) Resolved: That NAACP Units at all levels will seek legislation at all appropriate levels to deem workplace bullying illegal."? The resolution was adopted (see bullyfreeworkplace.org under News Articles 2006-2008 to read the entire article). THANK YOU!

What legacy are we leaving our future generations if we continue to take NO ACTION to correct and prevent bullying in the workplace? We are doing the same thing we are objecting to in corporate America. We are colluding with the bullies! I am referring to the collective "We" since many of us are working diligently to get the Healthy Workplace Bill passed into law.

Once again, I am going to post a paragraph submitted to California Healthy Workplace Advocates by email today. This comes in from a member of the 30 something generation:

"My experience with working for a corporation is that a law has to be put into place in order for the business to adhere to providing a fair work environment. There will always be bullies; it's human nature. But bullying in the workplace is unfair and can only be controlled if a business fears legal and/or financial consequences of the behavior elicited by the bully. I generally see a lot of reactive behavior in lieu of proactive awareness. Labor laws eliminate that choice and encourage organizations to follow the laws."

THANK YOU for this submission, this objective and insightful paragraph, and permission to publish it! California Healthy Workplace Advocates next meeting is this coming Saturday, July 25th in Sacramento (see website for time and location). Please join our grassroots movement in our mission to pass a law to correct and prevent workplace bullying!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Submitted today by a target for your review...

"I have been targeted by my supervisors. My story is a painful one, as I imagine, are yours. I have been forced to defend myself by going intermittendly to my union representative, who has been a blessing. I have also resolved to educate myself, which I am doing behind closed doors. Any knowledge I accumulate, whether about correctional healthcare or about management in general, or about bullies co-existing with them, serves to make the bullies around me more insecure. My every move infuriates her.

I personally/professionally feel that workplace bullying has a trickle down effect. Frustration, depression, anger, resentment, etc. experienced by parents in the workplace is witnessed by children and re-enacted in a painful cycle on the schoolyard playground. History repeats itself. I am concerned that the increase in child suicide is linked to workplace bullying, and schoolyard bullying, and hatecrimes.

...I am deeply committed to doing whatever else I can to help. I am a passionate and hard worker. When I set my mind to do something it gets done. Count on it."

Thank you to this courageous person for permission to use this submission. California Healthy Workplace Advocates is committed to preserving the anonymity of our members, i.e., "The names have been changed to protect the innocent", just like the old TV show, Dragnet. Please join us in promoting legislation to help establish a bully-free environment at work for ALL of us by passing a law to correct and prevent bullying in the workplace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whose responsibility is workplace bullying?

I'm still processing the broadcast on yesterday's TODAY show on NBC, available to see at

Whose responsibility is it to provide a safe and healthy workplace? The employer

Whose responsibility is it to reign in the bully's behavior? The bully

Who are often people targeted for workplace bullying? The brightest and the best

Why are they targeted? Their competence and accomplishment present a threat to the bully


Yes, I've read and heard, "You should not disagree with management", or, "Don't rock the boat". But who would have dreamed that expressing ideas, questioning the way things are done, or just being good at what you do would invite workplace bullying?

One of the best quotes I ever heard was from John Bradshaw, author of Healing the Shame that Binds You. To quote as I recall, he said, "Unquestionable authority stopped at the Nuramberg Trials". Does anyone remember all those who tried to evade responsiblity for their actions by saying they just followed orders? Need I say more??

Please join our grassroots movement to promote legislation into law to correct and prevent workplace bullying. Go to http://www.bullyfreeworkplace.org/ to learn more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Review of TODAY Show on Workplace Bullying

NBC's TODAY SHOW once again exposed the problem of workplace bullying on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, successfully featuring Colleen Robinson, a coordinator of the Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates. Not since May 23, 2005, has TODAY acknowledged the Workplace Bullying Institute as the nation's leading source of research on work abuse. The announcer said that 1 in every 8 workers was targeted by workplace bullying. Oddly, the study quoted, the WBI-Zogby poll of 2007, tells us that 37%, or one in every 3+ workers are targeted in the US at sometime in their careers. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/31904004#31904004)

Unfortunately, TODAY's career expert offered naive advice for targets of workplace bullying. She suggested,
"You need to stand up for yourself." (you'll likely get fired because we do not yet have a law against status-blind work abuse.)

"Bullies go after the weak." (Only weak people get targeted? Targets are statistically INDEPENDENT, COMPETENT, SOCIALLY ADEPT, and ETHICAL WHISTLEBLOWERS.)

"It's about power." (Yea, that's why 72% of bullies are bosses!)

"They're going to go after someone else." (You may be traumatized by witnessing other's abuse.)

On this highest-rated television morning news and talk show, the topic of workplace bullying is covered once or twice a year. Because of the good work of WBI and Healthy Workplace Advocates, the tone used has become much more empathetic to our slowly-recognized problem of workplace bullying

In 2005, TODAY anchor, Matt Lauer, displayed a somewhat antagonistic attitude about the subject. He interviewed Dr. Gary Namie in the studio and seemed to question the very existence of workplace bullying with the typical attitude of denial given to an abuse long ignored by our society. Perhaps Lauer himself has been impacted by various controversies historically surrounding employees of TODAY, the third, longest running daytime TV program. (See Wikipedia" TODAY Show)

More likely, our culture is finally evolving and awakening to the issue of work abuse and it's high cost to our society. Thanks to the Workplace Bullying Institute's legislative campaign for the Healthy Workplace Bill, our words are out there: Workplace Bullying does indeed exist and does indeed destroy lives at an enormous cost to our communities. THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW!
Join our grassroots movement at www.bullyfreeworkplace.org

Monday, July 13, 2009

See Workplace Bullying on TODAY SHOW 8am Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Special alert! The NBC morning TODAY SHOW is to air a special segment on Workplace Bullying with Collene Robinson, an Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocate on Tuesday, July 14th at 8am. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this incidious phenomenon, a national disgrace that continues to run rampant through all levels of business.

Join our grassroots movement to pass legislation to correct and prevent workplace bullying! Contact us directly at www.bullyfreeworkplace.org to learn more.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Office Jerks or Workplace Bullies entrenched on Wall Street?

The Wall Street Journal recently publish a snarky expose' about an extreme form of abusive behavior permeating our present work culture, destroying individuals, traumatizing entire workforces. "The Fall of The Workplace Jerk" (July 2, 2009) suggests this wonderful recession will flush these evil doers or "jerks" out the door. Nothing could be further from probability.

Those of us who advocate for targets of workplace bullies know well of lost careers, nervous breakdowns, suicides, bankruptcies, and destroyed lives caused by bullies, often psychopaths, who often rise to the top. We Americans and present law fail to recognize or correct work abuse. We need to grow, now more than ever.

The trivializing term "jerk" is defined by Microsoft's dictionary as "somebody who is regarded as behaving foolishly." A "workplace bully" is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute as a person who commits "repeated mistreatment in the form of verbal abuse; threatening, humiliating, and intimidating conduct; sabatoge which interferes with work; or some combination of the three." Would the Wall Street Journal publish satire about child abuse, spousal abuse, or animal abuse? Perhaps WSJ editors still regard, "Pow, Alice! Right in the kisser!" as a humorous punch line. Most of the rest of us have grown up and do not.

Wall Street is rightfully blamed for having pushed and shoved 5% or more of American workers right out of their jobs. It's of little wonder that the business rag Wall Street worships would make light of the workplace bullying plight of the little people. What is the tally of mortgage borrowers who were bullied into buying houses they could ill afford or into subprime mortgages when they qualified for prime? This abuse hurt our country and the global community immeasurably. Perhaps the Wall Street Journal might publish a snarky article about the abuse of borrowers by lenders and their bullying agents? Abuse comes in many forms. At least a few of us have brought workplace bullying into the light of day.

We bullied workers are "mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore." Remember that punch line? How ironic. It was spoken by a character portraying a news man.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Workplace Bullying, a Social Problem Too Serious to Ignore

A safe and healthy workplace environment is under an employers control. When companies do nothing about workplace bullying, what are they really doing? According to Dr. Gary Namie, co-author of The Bully at Work, "Doing nothing is NOT a neutral act." Have you ever thought about it that way before? If employers do NOTHING when workplace bullying is reported, they collude with the bully, giving their silent approval.

Our efforts to promote the Healthy Workplace Bill into law is for one primary purpose, to apply a solution to this actual social problem. The business community continues to demonstrate that they are NOT willing to voluntarily put policies and procedures in place to correct and prevent the harmful phenomenon of workplace bullying, that is why we need a law to compel them to do so, to protect us all.

Our citizen lobbyist groups continue to show employers, legislators, and Chamber of Commerces' the high cost of bullying to companies, targets, taxpayers, health care providers, workers compensation (insurance companies), etc. (more examples listed at www.bullyfreeworkplace.org) yet they continue to dismiss or disregard the evidence. Another "Do Nothing" act.

We must act. We must insist that our legislators listen to us, take us seriously, and understand that workplace bullies are too expensive to ignore. Please join our grassroots movement to pass legislation to correct and prevent workplace bullying!

"We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization." Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Workplace Bullying, Health Care Consequences

The consequences of workplace bullying often include health care issues. Many who lose their jobs are left with little or no health care coverage, some even bullied off the job because of their health or a family member's health issues.

After watching Bill Moyers Journal on PBS last night, I am amazed at how much money insurance companies are making from keeping the insured with claims OFF their roles so they meet "Wall Street expectations". If you didn't get a chance to view it, go to pbs.org and watch the show for yourself. An amazing awakening in the making!

So, how does this apply to us? We are physically being injured by workplace bullies. Remember the definition by Drs. Namie book, The Bully at Work? "Repeated health harming treatment". Do we think any industry that is making money off our misery is going to "voluntarily" going to change? NO...that is why the Healthy Workplace legislation is so important. Legally requiring businesses to put policies and procedures in place that will "correct and prevent workplace bullying" is the only way to go.

Check out this quote from Dantes, taken directly off Bill Moyers PBS interview on the website:
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain a neutrality." Please join us in our mission to promote legislation to correct and prevent workplace bullying!

Friday, July 10, 2009

California Healthy Workplace Advocates

If we had enforceable policies and procedures in the workplace to correct and prevent workplace bullying, wouldn't it make the workplace much safer and healthier for everyone, everyone from the top down? Did you know workplace bullying is currently legal unless a person falls into a protected status from the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Isn't it TIME we do something to protect the rest of us?

Who remembers what many people had to endure before there were legislative policies required in the workplace to correct and prevent sexual harrassment? How can we create the same process to protect workers, management, and even company owners from workplace bullying? We are all subject to the dangerous possibility of workplace bullying...no one is exempt.

First, let's define what we are talking about. Workplace bullying is something that can be perpetuated as "bullying up", "bullying down", or "bullying across", meaning anyone can become a target of workplace bullying. Repeated health harming treatment is a good way to describe the action and consequences of this phenomenon.

According to the professional WBI/Zogby Poll conducted in 2007, 37% of California workers are on the receiving end of workplace bullying...that is a whopping 5,602,429 California workers!! Another 12% of people have witnessed someone being bullied in the workplace, noting this phenomenon affects 7,419,433 people in California. These numbers are not made up out of thin air...they are REAL, and must be addressed publically to pressure lawmakers to do something to protect us!!

The book, The Bully at Work by Dr.s Ruth and Gary Namie, clearly tells us that naming the problem is where our recovery from this disaster begins. Look, if bullying is being recognized on school grounds as a problem, a very SERIOUS problem, why don't people make the obvious jump to realize these people grow up and take the very same behaviors with them to the workplace?! Also, if the behavior is ignored, it obviously escalates and gets worse.

There is a Healthy Workplace Bill being circulated to legislators in 26 states right now, including California. We know the current administration does not support this legislation (look who is at the helm...The Terminator!), but soon we will have different leadership, and hopefully they will believe in human rights, the right to be safe and healthy in our workplaces. We have a lot of work to do to get this legislation to "Correct and Prevent Workplace Bulling" passed into law.

If you believe this is as serious a problem as we do, join us at www.bullyfreeworkplace.org, join this BLOG, and support our mission to get legislation passed to make social change for the good of us all. Thanks, more to share in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.