Yesterday I returned home from Albany, NY after spending Monday, advocating for support for the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB A05414 and S01823) . Eight individuals from the NY Healthy Workplace Advocates traveled to Albany to garner support from senators and assembly men and women. The feedback we received was encouraging and positive. Hopefully, the feedback will translate into votes for the first ever NY state anti-bullying legislation. I would like to encourage NY residents to contact your local representatives and ask them to support this bill. It is so important and is literally a matter of life or death for some.
As I reflect on my experience, I cannot help but reflect on the individuals who traveled to Albany to share their workplace bullying stories. All of the stories shared were quite compelling. A police officer shared his workplace bullying story. Two individuals who worked in universities shared their stories. As they shared their stories with assembly men and women and senators, one could see that their wounds had not healed. Joie traveled from Naples, Florida to share her story. You see, Joie's 31 year old niece Jodie, committed suicide 14 months ago because she could not face her bully any longer. Jodie wanted the bullying to end and saw suicide as a way out of the pain she was suffering. Jodie was married and had two beautiful young children. I commend Joie for having the courage to share this painful story with us. Through Jodie's death Joie has found the courage to speak out against workplace bullying. This story is just a reminder of the seriousness of workplace bullying and the devastating impact it can have on the lives of the targeted person and their loved ones.
I am sharing Joie & Jodie's story because I do not want another person to take his/her life because of workplace bullying. There needs to be laws in place that hold the bully and the organization accountable for their actions. There needs to be an avenue for bullied people to take once they have exhausted their options within the organization. Jodie had gone to HR for assistance and the bullying escalated. Perhaps if there was an anti-bullying law in place, the bully and the organization would have handled the situation differently and Jodie would be alive today. Jodie is not alive today because of workplace bullying. With all of the turmoil in this world and in our organizations, the need for anti-bullying laws has greatly increased. We need to protect one another from individuals who believe it is ok to psychologically harass employees. It is not ok and they need to be held accountable. I encourage you to do your part to help save lives. Please contact your local representatives and encourage them to pass anti-bullying legislation. For New York state residents please refer to the Healthy Workplace bill A05414 (Assembly and S01823 Senate). Thank you for doing your part to stand up to workplace bullies.