Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Susan Harthill (Flordia Coastal) sends word of her newly published article in the Minnesota Journal of International Law: BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE: LESSONS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM.
Here is the abstract:
This comparative article explores how the United Kingdom has tackled the problem of workplace bullying with the goal of drawing lessons for the emerging U.S. workplace bullying movement. In stark contrast to the U.S., the U.K. has been actively identifying and tackling workplace bullying since 1997 at the grassroots, political, organizational, and legislative levels. This article describes the development of the notion of a “dignitarian workplace” in the U.K. even in the absence of a dignity tradition, and argues that the U.K. provides useful insight for the U.S. at this formative stage of U.S. workplace bullying law. The most useful lesson is that the U.S.’s lack of a dignity tradition need not be fatal to the workplace bullying movement. In the U.K., employees have successfully utilized anti-stalking legislation to obtain legal relief against their employers for workplace bullying. This potential for litigation has, in turn, spurred organizational change. In addition, recognition of the societal as well as individual costs, not surprisingly, appears to have been another impetus behind trade union and government-funded initiatives to tackle the problem of workplace bullying in the U.K.
Learning from that experience, this article suggests that governmental and management recognition of the widespread nature of the problem is the first step in tackling workplace bullying. This article proposes that employer self-regulation and new workplace bullying legislation would have a better chance of success in the U.S. if preceded by efforts to educate legislators and employers on the individual and societal costs of workplace bullying. This article further proposes that legislative efforts can be bolstered by advocating for bills authorizing studies of the effects of workplace bullying. This approach therefore advocates more effective engagement of trade unions, management groups, and legislators to survey and define the problem of workplace bullying as an initial step in tackling workplace bullying in the U.S.
Good stuff and an issue I think needs more attention in this country. As the article is not on-line yet, you can either access it on one of the electronic databases or contact Susan for a reprint.