Workplace bullying conference sheds light on the issue

by Oct 28, 2015

On October 23, the National Workplace Bullying Coalition (NWBC) held a workplace bullying conference at Shippensburg University.  The event is the second annual conference conducted by NWBC and is intended to bring labor leaders, students, consultants, researchers and workplace practitioners together, so they can learn from each other. The main focus of the conference was to bring dignity back to the workplace.

Jerry Carbo, a professor at Shippensburg University and the Conference Chair, said that workplace bullying has a “broader concept” than harassment at work.  Data collected by Alan Morse, a consulting psychologist, indicated that 53 percent of employers are doing nothing to stop employees from being bullied at work.  Morse’s research also showed that 71 percent of the work place bullies retaliate against the bullied employee who reported him.

This may be one of the reasons why victims of workplace bullying sometimes chose to remain silent, despite being subjected to abuse.  Sadly, despite the presence of policies or programs that covers anti-workplace bullying which some organizations impose or follow, bully victims are still not speaking up.

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez gave a video welcome speech, and Tennessee Representative Antonio Parkinson gave a heartwarming closing keynote. Gonzalez passed California’s AB 2053, requiring the already mandatory sexual harassment training include a discussion of abusive conduct. Parkinson passed the Healthy Workplace Bill, that requires government agencies to have an anti-bullying policy in place if they want to avoid a lawsuit from a target of workplace bullying. Parkinson indicated that the goal of the law is to isolate the bully, or separate him or her from the company. In other words, with a policy in place, the organization would be required to attempt to stop the bullying. If the bullying does not stop, the target can sue the bully in civil court, and the organization would likely leave the bully to hang.

 

To learn more about the highlights discussed during the workplace bullying convention, click here.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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