Thursday, May 13, 2010

New York One Step Closer to Workplace Anti-bullying legislation

New York State Senators pass Healthy Workplace Bill, which addresses workplace bullying. We are one step closer to having the first anti-bullying workplace legislation. New York residents should contact their assembly representatives and encourage them to support the legislation. Bill A5414 is the healthy workplace bill for the assembly. Please write letters and make phone calls. Do your part to help get this important legislation passed in New York State.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Workplace Violence & Harassment Workshops & E-training


Ontario employers, June 15, 2010 is right around the corner. Sign up today for workshops and e-training pertaining to the new Bill 168 legislation. If your organization has 5 or more employees you need to make sure you are in compliance with the new law by June 15, 2010. LMSB Consulting provides workshops and training for employers and employees. If you need assistance crafting the required workplace violence and harassment policies contact LMSB Consulting. If you need to train employees on workplace violence and harassment, LMSB Consulting can assist you.

Current topics are:

Workplace Violence & Harassment Workshop For Employees

This workshop will provide employees with insights regarding workplace violence and harassment and their responsibilities. They will learn about the new workplace violence and harassment legislation that goes into effect in Ontario, Canada on June 15. The attendees will learn how to identify behaviors that could lead to violence in the workplace. Attendees will learn how to identify behaviors associated with workplace harassment. This workshop will be tailored to meet the unique needs of each organization.

1 hour session - Fee: $225 + GST
4 hour session - Fee: $875.00 + GST (Due to the interactive nature of this workshop, the maximum number of attendees is 30.)

Understanding Bill 168: Ontario's New Workplace Violence & Harassment Law

During this 4 hour workshop, you will gain insights into the new legislation pertaining to workplace violence and harassment and what your organization must do to be in compliance. You will learn how to create policies that will address violence, harassment and bullying in the workplace. You will learn how to create healthier and more respectful workplaces.

1 hour session - Fee: $225 + GST
4 hour session - Fee: $875.00 + GST (Due to the interactive nature of this workshop, the maximum number of attendees is 30.)

Current topics are:

Understanding Bill 168: Ontario's New Workplace Violence & Harassment Law

You will gain insights into the new legislation pertaining to workplace violence and harassment and what your organization must do to be in compliance. You will learn how to create policies that will address violence, harassment and bullying in the workplace. You will learn how to create healthier and more respectful workplaces. The e-course is asynchronous which provides attendees with the flexibility they need.

1 hour session
Fee: $50.00 + GST per person

Understanding Workplace Bullying

In this course you will learn about workplace bullying and what can be done to eliminate it in your workplace. You will gain an understanding of how bullying affects employees and the organization. You will learn how to identify bullying behavior and how to address it. You will learn how to investigate workplace bullying incidences.

1 hour session
Fee: $50.00 + GST per person

Please contact Dr. Lisa M.S. Barrow at or 905-733-0397 for more information regarding workshops, e-courses and consultation.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

America, it is time to make workplace harassment illegal

What will it take before elected representatives in the United States pass laws to protect employees from workplace harassment? How many innocent lives will need to be lost before representatives wake up and realize that workplace harassment is just as important as racial or sexual harassment? When will they pass laws to protect the American employees? How disappointing it is to see that the most progress country in the world continues to allow employees to be terrorized and harassed by workplace bullies.

Perhaps the states should look to their neighbor to the north and begin to follow their example of making workplace harassment illegal. A few forward-thinking provinces have adopted workplace harassment laws. The province of Ontario recently passed legislation that addresses both workplace violence and harassment. The law which is an amendment to the Ontario Health & Safety Act goes into effect on June 15, 2010. Elected representatives understand the importance of ensuring that all employees are protected in the workplace. They were not afraid to do something about the problem. So, what is stopping American elected representatives from coming to this same realization? Should not American employees have the right to work in an environment that is harassment-free?

I am concerned that many lives will be lost or forever damaged if steps are not taken to address the issue of workplace harassment. American employees who are being harassed in the workplace are frustrated because they do not have laws to protect them from their harassers. They must silently suffer. The bullied employees' health, well-being and careers have been jeopardized, yet employers and elected representatives continue to look the other way and pretend that the problem doesn't exist. They have buried their heads in the sand and are hoping that the problem goes away. Unfortunately, employers think the best way to address the problem is to get rid of the harassed person. They would rather terminate an innocent person, rather than confront the harasser about his/her actions.

How long will we continue to ignore workplace harassment? When will workplace harassment become illegal in the most progressive country in the world?

I encourage you to contact your elected representatives and find out what they are doing about workplace harassment. Change will only come when we collectively address the issue of workplace harassment.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How Female Employees Are Bullied At Work

When most people think of bullying, they immediately envision children bullying each other on the playground. Perhaps some reflect on their own bullying experiences as a targeted person, a bully, or a bystander who witnessed others being bullied. Very few people relate bullying to the workplace—unless of course, you are the unfortunate person being bullied by a boss or colleague. Bullies exist in our workplaces, just as they exist in our schools and playgrounds. Some childhood bullies have left the playgrounds, grown up, and are now bullying others in the workplace. They are wreaking havoc in the workplace and very little is being done to address this issue, especially in the US.

Fortunately for employees who live in a few Canadian provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, legislation has been passed that addresses workplace bullying. Quebec was one of the first provinces to pass psychological harassment (workplace bullying) legislation. The province of Ontario recently passed legislation that addresses workplace violence and harassment, including workplace bullying, which goes into effect on June 15, 2010. It is time for the United States to follow suit and begin to protect their citizens from workplace bullies. It is time employers do what they can to stop workplace bullying in their organizations.

Workplace bullying has become epidemic. It is literally killing or severely incapacitating individuals who have fallen prey to the workplace bully. Workplace bullying is repetitive, abusive behavior that devalues and harms other people on the job. It is not usually physically violent but relies instead on the formidable weapons of hostile actions and words. Workplace bullying intimidates and torments the targeted individual, putting his or her self-esteem and overall health at risk.

There has been an increase in the number of incidents involving workplace bullying and women. To explore the issue of workplace bullying as it pertains to women, research was conducted to determine the extent to which female employees in Canada and the United States are experiencing bullying behavior in their workplaces. Two hundred and sixty-three women from Canada and the United States completed an online Workplace Interaction Survey.

The Workplace Interaction Survey created by LMSB Consulting consisted of common bullying characteristics as outlined by researchers Charlotte Rayner and Helge Hoel (1997). Rayner & Hoel categorized bullying behaviors as follows:

1)Threat to Professional Status (e.g., humiliating the person in public or sabotaging the person’s work)

2)Threat to Personal Standing (e.g., name calling, spreading malicious rumors about a person, teasing or intimidating a person)

3)Isolation (e.g., preventing access to opportunities, or isolating the person physically or socially)

4)Overwork (e.g., imposing undue pressure to produce work and setting impossible deadlines)

5)Destabilization (e.g., failing to give credit where it is due, assigning meaningless tasks, removing responsibility or setting the person up for failure)

As it pertains to the category of threat to professional status, 45 percent of respondents indicated that they had been publicly humiliated by a workplace bully, while 27 percent of respondents reported having their work sabotaged.

Respondents indicated that they had experienced behaviour that threatened their personal standing. The most common bullying behaviours experienced were: teasing (39 percent), malicious rumours (27 percent), and sarcasm (24 percent).

Regarding the categories of isolation and overwork, 32 percent of respondents were ostracized and 25 percent were denied promotions or other opportunities. The respondents further indicated that they experienced undue pressure to perform (47 percent) and were given unreasonable deadlines (22 percent). Destabilization was the final category of bullying behaviours considered. Of the 263 women completing the Workplace Interaction Survey, 51 percent indicated that they were not given credit for the work they had completed, 36 percent were not acknowledged or rewarded for their work, and 21 percent were assigned meaningless tasks.

At first glance, the bullying behaviours may appear to be innocuous; however, if experienced over an extended period of time, the behaviours can have a devastating effect on targeted individuals. They may seek to take out their frustration by harming themselves or others. Seven percent of women completing the Workplace Interaction Survey indicated that they had considered suicide or homicide as a result of how they were being treated at work. We need only look to the recent tragedy that occurred on the Huntsville campus of the University of Alabama to see what can happen when an individual decides to take matters into her own hands and murder colleagues. One cannot help but wonder if some form of bullying was occurring between this professor and her colleagues. Could workplace bullying have pushed the alleged killer over the edge?

Could workplace bullying push you or one of your colleagues over the edge? Steps must be taken to prevent future tragedies like this from occurring in our workplaces. We must remember that though invisible to others, the wounds caused by workplace bullying are real. If targeted employees cannot turn to others for help in healing their wounds, they may turn to drastic measures to bring attention to their pain. By then it may be too late for the targeted person and for others.

Workplace bullying can no longer be ignored. A life should not be lost because of our failure to address bullying in our workplaces. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent workplace bullying. What will you do today to stop bullying in your workplace? What will you do to save a life?

For more information visit

Rayner, C. & Hoel, H. (1997). A summary review of literature relating to workplace bullying. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 7, p. 181 -191.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In Memory of Jodie Zebell

Please review this clip. Jodie Zebell lost her life as a result of workplace bullying. Please do what you can to stop bullying in your workplace.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ontarians Please Support Bill 168

Ontarians please contact your MPPs to ask them to support Bill 168. This bill focuses on workplace violence and workplace harassment. Representatives need to know that Ontarians want to be protected from violence and bullies in the workplace. The debate regarding this bill will resume tomorrow. Please do your part to protect Ontarians. Thanks.