Work shouldn’t hurt

Feb. 13, the legislators meet in Charleston and vote on certain House bills. The Healthy and Safe Workplace Act – anti-workplace bullying bill – has been reintroduced.

I believe we did this by writing and calling. Now we need to thank them and also make sure all the other House and Senate members know we vote and we want them to vote for this bill when the time comes. And the time is now – Feb. 13.

Workplace bullying is more than incivility, rudeness or misperceptions. It is defined as malicious, repeated, health-harming mistreatment: verbal abuse, threats, humiliation, intimidation, work sabotage or exploitation of a known vulnerability. All of which prevent work from getting done, undercut employer productivity and harm employee health. Harassment laws are insufficient. In 2007 it was determined that 35 percent of workers have been bullied; 62 percent of bullies are men; 58 percent of targets are women. Women bullies target women in 80 percent of cases and bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal harassment.

Look up your local senators and delegates and write and/or call each one and tell them you want them to vote for this bill when the time comes. You can even email them – see their email addresses. You can find this information at this link:

It will take each and every one of us to do this. Please ask your family and friends in districts other than your own because we need to cover the entire state. If you have been bullied, tell them about it. We may need to do this several times before the end of the session. I know there is not much time left to write but you can help out so much with your emails, letters or phone calls – bullying is already costly and eroding productivity through turnover and absenteeism. Bullies are too expensive to keep. Bullies are the actual job killers. They terrorize co-workers and subordinates which create stress. If you have never been bullied in the workforce then you wouldn’t understand but you see I have been and it know bullying hurts. It’s not just in the schools. Work shouldn’t hurt!

Mary Williams