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Push On In New York State For Bill To Prevent Workplace Bullying

Bill Would Give Workplace Victims Legal Recourse
Generic Workplace (credit: CBS 2)

Generic Workplace (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the wake of the alleged harassment on the Miami Dolphins football team, the spotlight has returned to workplace bullying.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, an effort has been under way for years to pass legislation on the subject in Albany.

The “Healthy Workplace Bill” has been lobbied for by Mike Schlicht of New York Healthy Workplace Advocates for seven years. He hopes to give victims legal recourse from bullying.

“It’s verbal abuse, work sabotage, and work interference, so it can be one or any combination of the three,” Schlicht said.

Schlicht said he was a victim personally, and said the effort was also designed to have companies put forth clear policies to prevent bullying.

“We don’t need to tolerate this environment, and certainly there’s no good reason for it,” Schlict said. “There’s better ways to manage and allow people to do their job.”

Schlicht said half the New York State Assembly is onboard with the bill, but more votes are needed in the state Senate.

Suffolk University law professor David Yamada first drafted the bill in 2001. A similar bill was advanced in California the following year, and New York organized next.

The bill has since been introduced in more than half the U.S. states, according to a news release. Healthy Workplace bills have already passed committee votes in New York, as well as Connecticut, Illinois and Washington, and has passed the House in New York for a study-only bill, the release said.

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