Dear Senator _____ ,
Soon you will be reviewing an important bill, Senate Bill 5423, a bill that would make workplace bullying illegal in Washington State. If passed, Washington would be taking a stand leading all other states in the nation to ensure the safety of employees and employers in all areas of industry.
HR professionals have reported that when an employee brings an incident such as bullying to their attention, they struggle to address the issue with no law to back them up and no motivation for employers to develop meaningful, enforceable policies.
They report feeling that their hands are tied and have no option for recourse. Worse, there are many small companies that do not have a human resources staff and lack the training to legally and ethically manage workplace safety.
Workplace Bullying is unacceptable, no one should have to endure daily verbal, emotional, psychological abuse and sabotage while trying to provide for their household and develop their careers. All too often employees are yelled at, sworn at, targeted for ridicule, called names and other aggressive behaviors.
Women are the most targeted – at a rate of 60% – and the majority of the abuse is not sexually motivated. So laws protecting women from sexual harassment should not only be stronger, but we also need laws that broaden the scope to include bullying and harassment in general for all women and men to be protected.
Bullying is not the fault of the target, but a character flaw or lack of better social and emotional skills of the abuser. Poor performance is an excuse that many abusers use to justify a “take no prisoners” style of management. But research has consistently shown that the most important predictor of workplace productivity is, above all, a safe and positive work environment.
Please pass the bill out of committee with the amendments suggested and a recommendation to pass it into legislation.
It’s time to take a stand against bullying in the workplace, no matter what the reason may be. Together, we can make a difference!
Thank you and Sincerely,