Tennessee passed the Healthy Workplace Act on May 22, 2014. It’s a victory for anti-workplace bullying advocates because after a decade of the Healthy Workplace Bill being shot down over and over again, something regarding workplace bullying was finally passed. But unfortunately the law isn’t that great – it applies only to public-sector employers and no one is required to follow the guidelines of the law. Administrators are incentivized to follow the law in exchange for immunity from lawsuits. Neat trick – having an anti-bullying policy in place is a get out of jail free card.
Check out the Wall Street Journal law about this here: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2014/06/20/first-state-workplace-bullying-law-has-few-fans/
It probably confuses some people when they hear about adult bullying. Often time’s people believe that bullying only exists in junior high hallways. Bullying can happen between people of any age and in any situation. Bullying occurs anytime someone tries to intimidate, altercate or belittle. Physical violence is not necessarily the only kind of bullying. Have you ever been in a room and said something you believed only to have someone else in the room chastise you and make a mockery of you? That is bullying.
We’ve all been a part of bullying in one form or another and we can all work to make it end. One of the first steps we can take to end bullying is to end faceless hate speech. By that I mean we must better handle ourselves online, rather it be in an email or in a comments section. Some of the nastiest forms bullying can be found in the comments section on any given Internet article. Reading through these comments might lead some people to conclude that these cyber bullies are all just teenagers or people with no lives, but often the people writing these comments are actually adults who have hatred toward people who’s beliefs are different than their own. They can even be the people we work around.
How do we stop this? The best we have to offer is our own examples. We have to show discretion in what we choose to say and what opinions we express online as much as in our actual lives. Just because we are behind the screen of a computer or mobile device doesn’t take away our responsibility to ensure that we all have a safe place in which to work. Next time you see a comment section that has turned to hate speech just take a step back and remember that commenting back will not help the matter. Instead use it as a chance to enhance your own life by treating others with as much respect as you would expect in return. The best way to stop bullying is to reduce the number of them, and you can do that by making sure you always treat your co-workers with respect.