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July 23rd, 2013 By Ron Maurer, SHRM, July 16, 2013 Since 2003, 25 states have introduced workplace bullying legislation that would allow workers to sue for harassment without requiring a showing of discrimination.
Critics contend that these laws would encourage frivolous lawsuits.
“Other employment laws were designed to provide equal opportunity to classes of people who historically were not afforded those opportunities.
In that respect, legislating civility would appear to be a new employment law phenomenon.” According to the Healthy Workplace Campaign (HWC), bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal discrimination; yet it’s still legal in the United States.
The campaign describes workplace bullying as repeated health-harming mistreatment that takes one or more of the following forms: According to the HWC: “In its more severe forms it triggers a host of stress-related health complications, such as hypertension, auto-immune disorders, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The person’s immediate job and often career are disrupted.” Half of the companies surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2011 reported incidents of workplace bullying.
The survey found that 27 percent of HR professionals themselves had been victims.