New Yorkers Want Workplace Bullying Ban, Survey Finds

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1.4 million or 7 percent of New Yorkers are subjected to workplace bullying on a regular basis. New Yorkers surveyed believe it is time for Assembly and Senate representatives to pass the Healthy Workplace Bills which would make workplace bullying illegal.

As it stands, bullied employees have no voice in their organizations and few options available to them. Many suffer in silence; others leave their jobs. Most alarming of all, some individuals see suicide as the only way out of the pain they are experiencing.

As Healthy Workplace Bills hang in the balance, New York State residents overwhelmingly support legislation that would make workplace bullying illegal, a recent survey reveals.

Of 328 individuals who completed an online workplace bullying survey administered by researcher Dr. Lisa M. S. Barrow, 90% of those identifying themselves as New York State residents supported workplace anti-bullying legislation. An even higher proportion of respondents - 93 per cent - said New York State employers should have anti-bullying policies similar to current anti-discrimination or anti-harassment policies.

"The numbers are very high," says Dr. Barrow, whose passion for workplace justice is evident in her new book titled In Darkness Light Dawns: Exposing Workplace Bullying (Purple Crown Publishing, 2009). "Lawmakers and employers need to listen to what people are saying and put the proper checks to workplace bullying in place."

If passed, the two Healthy Workplace Bills (A5414 and S1823) currently before New York State Assembly and Senate representatives would make workplace bullying illegal within state boundaries. Workplace bullies would be held civilly liable for their actions, as would employers who fail to create abuse-free environments for all of their employees.
Workplace bullying is defined as repetitive abusive behavior that devalues and harms other people on the job. It doesn't usually involve physical violence but relies instead on the formidable weapons of hostile actions and words. Workplace bullying intimidates and torments the targeted individual, putting his or her self-esteem and overall health at risk.

According to New York Healthy Workplace Advocates (http://www.nyhwa.org), 1.4 million New Yorkers or 7 percent of New Yorkers are subjected to workplace bullying on a regular basis. Nation-wide, workplace bullying is also rampant. An estimated 54 million American employees or 37 per cent of all employees in the country have been bullied in the workplace, most recent figures available from Zogby International indicate.

"Far from consisting of isolated instances here and there, workplace bullying is a widespread phenomenon," Dr. Barrow says. "Yet, to our shame, no state has addressed the issue with anti-bullying legislation."

"As it stands, bullied employees have no voice in their organizations and few options available to them. Many suffer in silence; others leave their jobs. Most alarming of all, some individuals see suicide as the only way out of the pain they are experiencing."

"Until anti-bullying legislation passes in New York State and throughout America, millions of employees will continue to suffer. Many voices will be silenced forever. New York Senate and Assembly representatives have the opportunity to protect residents and literally, to save lives."

In Darkness Light Dawns: Exposing Workplace Bullying tells Dr. Barrow's personal story of being bullied at work, providing understanding, encouragement and advice for others who suffer as she did. The book also presents her original research findings on workplace bullying, providing insight and challenge for lawmakers and organizational leaders who want to create healthy work environments. For more information and to order visit http://www.bulliednomore.com.

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