Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dr. Gary Namie explains workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is NOT simply tough management. While it takes several forms, it is always repeated, health-harming mistreatment that disrupts the productive flow of work.

This interview of Dr. Gary Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute explains this hateful behavior. While the WBI is located in Bellingham, Washington, the Drs. Ruth and Gary Namie, are psychologists with an international reputation. Thanks to their 15-year dedication to exposing this silent epidemic of abuse, they have helped to educate the United States and Canada to this key problem in the North American workforce.

While watching, keep in mind that status-blind (non-discriminatory) workplace bullying is presently legal! Most Americans believe that all harassment is against the law. Not so. Will Illinois become the first state to pass this progressive, common-sense law?

Please support Illinois legislation: "Abusive Work Environments Act," presently House Bill 374.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates coordinator featured on Today Show!

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 then 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.

Unfortunately, Today’s career expert offered na├»ve advice for targets of workplace bullying. She suggested: (Annotations are according to the Workplace Bullying Institute research :)

“You need to stand up for yourself.”

(You’ll likely get fired because we do not yet have law against status-blind work abuse.)

“There is the need and the responsibility for you to defend yourself.”

(Blame the victim if he doesn’t stand up for himself? During a major recession?)

“Bullies go after the weak.”

(Only weak people are targeted? Targets are statistically independent, competent, socially adept, and ethical whistleblowers.)

“It’s about power.”

(That’s why 72% of bullies are bosses!)

“They’re going to go after someone else.”

(You may be traumatized by witnessing others’ 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.

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 a society. Perhaps Lauer himself has been impacted by various controversies historically surrounding employees of Today, the third, longest-running TV program. (see Wikipedia: Today Show.)

More likely, our culture is finally evolving and awakening to the issue of work abuse and its high cost to society. Thanks to the Workplace Bullying Institute’s legislative campaign for the Healthy Workplace Bill, our words are out: workplace bullying indeed exists and indeed destroys lives at an enormous cost to our communities. There oughta be a law!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Illinois leads nation in fighting Workplace Bullying

Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates are proud to announce that Illinois House Joint Resolution #40, the study bill for the Abusive Work Environments Act, has passed with a unanimous floor vote of the Illinois House of Representatives. The bill's sponsor, Representative Art Turner, has has announced to IllinoisHWA that this bill also passed easily through the Illinois Senate. We thank Senator William Delgado's for his support in this effort.

To read about House Joint Resolution 40, visit:

Our true goal is to include both public and private sector employees in the "Abusive Workplace Environments Act," This bill that was sent to the Rules Committee (HB 374) only applied to public employees. In the short run, this seems like a setback. In the long run, we may do better as a State to include all workers because "work shouldn't hurt!"

The text HJR #40 is linked to the above site and uses the language "workplace bullying." We are happy with this progress and will keep you well informed as time passes. It would be a valued gesture now to thank House Majority leader Art Turner for the work he has done. E-mail: or (217) 782-8116. While you are at it, wish him well in his bid for Lt. Governor in 2010.

When the "Abusive Work Environments Act" passes into law, the Great State of Illinois will become the first in the United States to recognize and correct workplace bullying at all levels through legislation. We have given this country Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. How appropriate that we should also give our citizens humanity and civility at work.

The Mission of the Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates
Is to Raise Public Awareness and Compel our State to Correct and
Prevent Abusive Work Environment Through Legislation