Press Release January 23, 2018



Coalition for a Respectful Workplace

January 23, 2018

Olympia, WA, January 23, 2018–Two bills have been introduced in the Washington State Legislature that aim to establish protections for abusive working environments and workplace bullying. SB 5423, introduced by Prime Sponsor Sen. Chase of the 32nd Legislative District, will make it an unfair practice under WLAD to subject an employee to an abusive work environment, where the employee is subject to abusive conduct that is so severe that it causes physical or psychological harm to the employee.

Senator Chase is a proponent of this legislation because, “just as we have bullying in school, we have it in the workplace and it is detrimental to the workers’ health, well-being, and safety.” According to findings from a 2017 National survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), sixty-one percent (61%) of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace and nineteen percent (19%) are bullied. “We have a real opportunity to address an issue that we know exists, and until now have not had any real tools to deal with it”, said Joshua Estes, a spokesperson for the Coalition for a Respectful Workplace (CRW). “This is not just an individual issue. The victims of this conduct carry their stress with them at work making them less productive and it can follow them home, directly impacting their families.”

The House Version, introduced by Prime Sponsor Rep. Cody of the 34th Legislative District, is a similar bill that adds “economic harm” to the subjected abuse and removes “malice” as a determining factor for such abuse. “HR professionals, Labor Organizations, Mental Health Professionals, and Business Professionals are all impacted by this abusive conduct and it’s time that we all joined forces in addressing it”, Sean L. O Sullivan, CRW Lead Lobbyist.

SB5423 is scheduled for a Hearing on January 24th, 2018 in the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce at 1:30 PM. The House version HB2888 is not yet scheduled but a hearing date is expected.

The Coalition for a Respectful Workplace was created to:

  • Educate the public, employers, and public officials as to the pervasiveness of workplace abuse,
  • Advocate for private and public policies that address workplace bullying
  • Create legal remedies for victims, and
  • Develop and implement employer incentives that foster workplaces free of bullying and intimidation.


Information on joining the coalition and supporting an abuse free workplace can be found at their website by visiting

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Pamela Raphael President at (425) 770-4200 or email at