Freedom Week: The Time to Break Silence About Workplace Bullying

Oct 18, 2011, 10:33 ET from Workplace Bullying Institute

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 30 cities and counties in California, Connecticut, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin have recognized by proclamation "Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week" from Oct. 16 to 22, 2011. Cities include Beverly Hills, San Antonio, Burbank, and Norfolk.

Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week is sponsored by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), the research and education organization dedicated to the eradication of abusive conduct in the workplace. "Freedom Week is the chance to break through the shame and silence surrounding workplace bullying," says Dr. Gary Namie, WBI co-founder and co-author of The Bully-Free Workplace (Wiley, 2011).

WBI defines Workplace Bullying as repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more perpetrators that takes the form of verbal abuse; conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; and sabotage which prevents work from getting done.

According to the scientific 2010 U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey (WBI), 35% of adult Americans experience bullying firsthand. Personal consequences include clinical depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, long-term disability, and job and career loss. Employers suffer turnover, absenteeism, lawsuits, and tarnished reputations as a "worst place to work."

Freedom Week is a time for bullied individuals and their families to take stock of the extent of the psychological injuries sustained from bullying. It's also an important time for managers and executives to calculate the financial losses attributable to preventable bullying, and for insurers and attorneys to admonish their employer clients to prevent and correct costly bullying. WBI encourages lawmakers to enact legislation to curb bullying in the workplace as they have done for school students.

State laws are proposed. The anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB) is currently alive in 11 states, including New York and Massachusetts. Since 2003, 21 states have introduced the HWB. No state has yet passed the bill into law.

Contact:  Gary Namie, Director, WBI, 360-656-6630

SOURCE Workplace Bullying Institute