Letter: A win for bullies
The vetoing of the Healthy Workplace Bill by Gov. Maggie Hassan is a disappointing turn of events in what could have been a landmark example of a governing leader declaring that bullying in the workplace is simply unacceptable.
A 2014 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute estimates that 27 percent of Americans have been a target of workplace bullying. However, only 16 percent of organizations will take action to stop reported bullying. Most will deny it’s happening. Some will even defend it. In 82 percent of cases, the organization will either take the side of the bully or do nothing to help the target.
The law supports this behavior – without legislation like this bill, 80 percent of workplace bullying is completely legal.
The governor contends that the “bill attempts to legislate politeness, manners and the interpersonal relationships.”
Let’s apply this logic to a group of “mean girls” in high school that spreads gossip and lies about the unpopular girl, causing her to be the target of ongoing torment. By the governor’s reasoning, these incidents are purely subjective and would be too much of a bother for the school to intervene.
This response is unacceptable when it comes to children and should be just as unacceptable when it comes to adults. The system that’s in place for dealing with this problem is broken, and one in four people are bearing the consequences of it. The governor missed an opportunity to be on the right side of history on this issue.