I am no fan of any new workplace legislation that can already be handled by current mechanisms in place. That is why I am “ANTI” to anti-bullying laws being passed. There is a lot of press time being paid to bullying and hazing these days. It certainly needs to be stopped; however, legislation is not the solution. In the workplace today we have a mechanism for handling this. It is called “employment-at-will.” Unfortunately many, many managers and human resources professionals have abdicated their responsibility in dealing with these situations. We are too afraid of confrontation. We have adopted a “victim mentality” in many of these situations. Unfortunately a new law will not solve this. It will just put something in place of what should be handled by good leadership.
Yes I realize that there are situations where the boss is the bully. In these situations “victim” becomes an easier role to play. But ultimately the person being bullied holds the solution in their hands. The answer is to not allow yourself to be bullied. Stand up or change the situation. People may respond to this and say “You have obviously never been bullied.” And perhaps they are right, because I never allowed myself to be bullied. I was taught by my father to stand up for myself and if I didn’t like a situation to do something about it, even if that was removing myself from the situation. But I will be happy to hear your stories.
But first go and read this post by my friend Jon Hyman of the Ohio Employers Law Blog. He wrote about this subject in Bullying and at-will employment. He gives a cogent argument against the need for anti-bullying laws and it is something you should read, regardless of your current point-of-view.
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