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posted Thursday, 14 May 2009

Illinois House of Reps

Bullying Bills Pass IL & NY Houses

The Illinois House of Representatives and New York State Assembly have
passed similar bills calling attention the problem of workplace bullying. In
New York, A 2247 passed with a vote of 142-1 on May 6. In Illinois, HRJ 40
passed 114-0 on April 30. Both bills commission statewide studies of the
problem.

In New York, A 2247 (Mark Schroeder, D-145) directs the Department of Labor
to conduct a study of hostile workplace behavior and to make recommendations
within a year. Comprehensive versions of the Workplace Bullying Institute
(WBI) Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB), which would prevent abuse by employers,
have been introduced in the Assembly (A 5414A) and Senate (S1823A).

In Illinois a $100,000 Task Force to study fiscal and employee health impact
of bullying on private sector companies will be comprised of eight lawmakers
with support from the Department of Human Services. Rep. Arthur Turner (D-9)
was the sponsor of HJR 40 and the prime sponsor of a more comprehensive bill
for public sector employers. HB 374, the WBI HWB, has not advanced in the
House.

The positive House/Assembly votes send both study bills to the respective
Senate chambers. “This progress is encouraging for the anti-bullying
legislative movement. We only began citizen lobbying in 2003,” said WBI
Director Gary Namie. “The historical business lobby mantra of ‘no
regulation’ prevais in all legislatures. The economic meltdown and
subsequent populist outrage may give lawmakers the push to do something for
American workers.”

In 2009, the WBI Legislative Campaign, the national network of State
Coordinators, produced some version of the WBI HWB in 12 states. Since 2003,
16 states have introduced such legislation. Namie states, “We are prepared
for a long-term campaign because domestic violence, civil rights, women’s
rights, and schoolyard bullying were problems decades before lawmakers took
action.”

History of the WBI HWB is found at — workplacebullyinglaw.org and
healthyworkplacebill.org

Visit the New York Healthy Workplace Advocates (WBI-LC Affiliates) website

Visit the Illinois Healthy Workplace Advocates (WBI-LC Affiliates) website


Ari Ne’eman
President
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
1660 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC  20036
http://www.autisticadvocacy.org
732.763.5530

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