Workplace Bullying: Now Illegal in NY | INFJ Forum

Workplace Bullying: Now Illegal in NY

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by IndigoSensor, Jul 22, 2010.

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  1. IndigoSensor

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    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2005358,00.html?hpt=C2

    This is interesting. A Time article about New York passing a law making it illegal for workplace bullying. Specefically, bosses being directly cruel and mean to their "lower" workers. I am usually against such laws like this, but I actually am for this. The way they explain it, it seems like it will be pretty hard for people to abuse this law. I.E. it is much different from BS sexual harassment in the workplace laws.

    Thoughts? I think this is a good move.
     
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  2. middle1

    middle1 Hellur

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    Its a great move. It particularly needs to be passed in my state. My boss is good to me but I have seen her treat a few other employees (consistently) like doodoo. And since the only people above her is the state legislature, she gets away with it. Nobody is bold enough to make that move.
     
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    IndigoSensor

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    This is something that has confounded me is why people are so fearful of standing up to their bosses when they are being abused. I have stood up to higher ups (in particular in a job I had summer 2008), and it worked out. I got a rep for being really odd/outspoken, and I did get yelled at, but I didn't get bossed around or mistreated.
     
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  4. 894tt3h9

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    I got mistreated at my first job when I was 15-17 years old. The boss I had was such a chauvinist. He had quite a reputation around the workplace. Everyone knew this guy was total garbage. I didn't stand up to him directly but I used to shoot my mouth off amongst the staff and other management and had quite a lot of people behind me. When I quit, I took everyone with me. It was really satisfying lol.
     
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  5. middle1

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    In our situation, we have it made in the shade. Then again some of the people who are taking the abuse almost seem prone to it...I can't really explain that but its like they are used to it. Its a political office so everybody has a little something on everyone else, so nobody says anything, until election time, haha.
     
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  6. athenian200

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    I think it's a good move, since this goes on.

    After all, if we reason that people should be protected from harassment based on race or gender... why shouldn't they be protected from harassment in general? It's just as damaging no matter why it's done.

    Note that I don't think yelling at an employee or threatening to fire them for not doing their job well constitutes harassment. I'm talking about anything done that's either more personal, or that isn't done for a reason most would consider valid.
     
  7. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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    I think this is a good move, as I was tormented quite frequently by my higher ups because they weren't in a good mood. Like Sandra, I was only 14 when this started, and it went through until I got the nerve to quit when I turned 17.

    Plus, unlike BS sexual harrassment suites and civil suites, workplace bullying (I imagine) wouldn't damage one's career nearly as much.
     
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  8. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    So now it's legal to bully your colleagues that you'll sue them for "bullying" you.

    I find this to be the trap of all punishments: X does A to Y, the equal punishment is B, so now, X frames Y for doing A to X, in order for Y to get punished with B=A. In both cases, X is allowed to bully Y to the extent one wishes. Hence, the only way out of this is if X wouldn't want to cause the harm A to Y in the first place. If someone has reasons to want to harm another, no measures will be able to prevent that.

    Same goes for good manners and everyday simple ethics. The gentleman is a man who abuses fine etiquette to still be as brutal and rude as he wishes. You don't remove the aggression by changing the rules, you only transform it.
     
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    #8 enfp can be shy, Jul 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  9. DefectiveCreative

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    No, it isn't legal, because that would be fraud. And just because some people would seek to abuse the system does not mean all or even most would. Most people would use it exactly for its intended purpose, to try and prevent workplace bullying by punishing the offenders.

    Unless its a "crime of passion", as they call it, then people will always ask themselves whether an action is "worth it", based on weighing up the potential gains against the potential costs. As a result there are literally millions of people walking the streets right now who haven't committed crimes simply because they decided the perceived costs (of which the potential punishment if they get caught plays a part) outweighed the perceived "gains". Even sociopaths do this, it's just that their brains are wired in such a way that the perceived gains almost always seem to outweigh the perceived costs.

    Again you seem to be confusing the concept of "some" with the concept of "all". There are bound to be those that abuse things like etiquette and manners to act poorly to others, but that doesn't mean that all or even most people do that.
     
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  10. testing

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    I think anything that seriously encourages people to treat each other with mutual respect in the workplace (or anywhere) is a good thing; however, I am somewhat skeptical that this will work.
     
  11. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    Can they ban school bullying also?
     
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  12. toska

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    I hope it works. I just got fired by a bully boss. The only thing was he was sneaky and mostly did stuff behind closed doors or in more subtle ways than screaming. EVERYONE there hated him, even the people who were kissing his ass constantly so that they wouldn't become a target. I was the only person there who would stand up for myself and talk back to him, so apparently he was calling me a "rude, disrespectful bitch" and a "fucking retard" behind my back. My friend and I went to people higher up than him but of course it backfired because they told us we didn't have enough evidence.

    He had major issues with women because he was constantly threatening the female employees and scrutinizing our work for mistakes and making up new rules so he could keep writing us up for them. He sexually harassed my friend behind closed doors. He would come up in her face while she was sitting at her desk and play with the zipper on his pants and say "you know you want it." He kept trying to invite her to his property in another state while his wife wasn't there and they were going to have a bonfire and "lay out under the stars."

    He is such a piece of shit. I hate petty, insecure people with enormous egos who use whatever authority they have to go on power trips and belittle people. Disgusting.
     
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  13. testing

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    Hi Lucifer, school bullying is banned.

    Today I am filling out forms for my first grader which specifically state that bullying is not allowed at his school and both he and I have to sign it. It's the anti-bullying pledge, and every child and parent in our county school system is supposed to read it, sign it and abide by it.

    It says in part:

    "...We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy our school equally regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion, or nationality....
    ... Bullying is any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by apparent present ability to do so or any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily injury or harm."

    And it goes on to list what is expected of people who sign the pledge, and I am going over it with my first grader, and he is going to sign it as well.

    Unfortunately, bullying still happens.
     
  14. enfp can be shy

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    Oh, thanks for the addition - so it's also legal to actually bully someone, and then accuse them of fraud when they accuse you of bullying them, and get a double bully combo. It's sooo nice, indeed.

    Sure, most people do not behave like that, but it's not because they are afraid of the punishments; it's because most people don't have reasons to bully someone. For those people who have reasons, the system of all these punishments and counter-punishments is just a tool to exploit and reach their goal eventually. Which was my initial point. I think it's more rewarding to work on people's reasons and try to reduce the factors that lead to such reasons.
     
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  15. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    Good thing we are putting bans on behavior... that should stop it from ever happening again.
     
  16. bamf

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    I think some states already have that. Works like a charm......
     
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  17. DefectiveCreative

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    Not that it would stop all bullying, but rules and regulations are only effective if they're enforced.

    Oh, don't be such a negative Nancy. :tongue:

    I agree.

    I disagree, I stand by my position that except for certain cases (crimes of passion) people take the risk of getting caught and the severity of the punishment that would follow into account when making decisions regarding criminal acts or unacceptable behaviour and the like.

    Think about your own life, especially when you were a kid. There were bound to have been times when you were tempted to do something you knew was "wrong", and I'm willing to bet that one of the questions you asked yourself at those times was "But what if I get caught?"

    I agree.
     
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    #17 DefectiveCreative, Jul 22, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  18. VH

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    No law will ever stop everyone from breaking that law. To jump to the conclusion that laws are designed to completely end something is foolish.

    Laws provide repercussions. Repercussions provide deterrents. Deterrents provide a drop in the intended activities.

    Obviously a law against bullying won't stop all bullying. However, a law against bullying will stop a lot of people from bullying for fear of the repercussions, and make it possible to punish people who do bully others. That's as good as we can do in free civilization, and it's going to be helpful. Laws concerning discrimination or harassment haven't ended discrimination or harassment, but they've been very successful at drastically reducing instances of each... to the point that many people are afraid to voice an entirely valid opinion for fear of the repercussions of being accused of discrimination or harassment. People being afraid of being accused of bullying in my opinion isn't a bad thing. It will make people much more likely to be polite and affable.
     
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  19. testing

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    Excellent points! Despite being skeptical, I hope this law does work, and I know from personal experience that strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws for employers have improved many work environments over the last several decades.

    I also know that school systems are getting more serious about preventing bullying. It seems that change has to come from many different directions -- including, hopefully, parents who make it clear that bullying is not tolerated, and who love their children in such a way that the chidren have no need to bully others to boost their own confidence. That would be ideal.

    If this law helps even one child who would've otherwise been bullied mercilessly, then I am a-okay with it.
     
  20. Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    People who seem to question this haven't actually witnessed true bullying, like the one the article describes.

    It's not just a matter of quitting or threatening a boss. If you're in a situation you can't quit from and a boss or coworker fit the description of this kind of a bully, then you're trapped... and the bully knows it.

    Bullying isn't just a one-time event that happens when a person has a bad day. I'm currently witnessing it happen right now at my job and it's not pretty.

    A bully uses any means at their disposal to bully and most of them are perfectly legal and acceptable according to normal corporate policy. Simply not returning e-mail that's vital to a colleague's project can be one of the many tactics used. Combine this with ignoring questions asked to them, undermining a co-worker's authority, ignoring advice, making decisions that have a negative impact on a co-worker and their job and just being a general threat to a person's job. This is a typical passive-aggressive workplace bully.

    You get a person like this cornered and the passive aggression turns to deliberate outright aggression - finger pointing, accusations, etc. And this is always directed at a person who cannot fight back. A bully, for instance, won't bully their boss or a superior, but a co-worker who has bills to pay is fair game.

    You're talking about physical illness, emotional trauma and the inability for the victim to simply live their life normally as some of the side effects of this type of abuse. In other words, severe depression, usually brought on by the fact that the person needs to work that job for one reason or another while undergoing this type of abuse.

    The biggest problem with bullying is that few people see it happen and most companies ignore it if they suspect it. Any law that actually recognizes this for what it is and allows people to take action on it has my fullest support!
     
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