Monday, February 18, 2008

Yamada Featured on Bullying in ABA Journal

Dyamada I appreciate Chris Cameron (Southwestern) alerting me to the news that David Yamada's (Suffolk) scholarship on bullying in the workplace got him not only mentioned in this month’s ABA Journal, but also photographed – smile and all – on page 16 (different photograph here, but same great smile).

Some of the article highlights:

In the last several years, legislation has been introduced in 13 states to allow people to sue their employers for bullying or offensive behavior even when the conduct doesn’t meet standards for discrimination or infliction of emotional distress . . . .

Much of this percolating legislation was modeled on a draft by David Yamada, a professor at Suffolk Univer­sity Law School in Boston who has been working with Namie. “There are some serious gaps in the law in terms of workplace bullying,” says Yamada, who studies harassment in the workplace.

Yamada says he has experienced or witnessed bullying behavior in the legal world and in academia. Typic­ally, he says, people victimized by bad bosses end up quitting. “It strikes me as being horrifically wrong,” Yamada says, “that targets are the ones to pay the price." . . . .

Yamada intends for the legislation to cover at least two categories of workplace bullying. The first is the boss who openly berates employees. The poster child for this type of personality, he says, is the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. During his 2005 confirmation hearings, he was accused of being a “serial abuser” and “quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy.”

But Yamada’s proposal doesn’t stop with giving employees grounds to sue the yellers and screamers. He says he would also allow workers to sue for “the more hurtful and insidious” types of conduct—the backstabbing, subtle undermining and sabotaging that exist in many workplaces.

Kudos to David for single-handedly developing and implementing the strategy behind this anti-bullying in the workplace movement.


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Here, in the Washington However, workplace bullying bills have been introduced that would have applied to all employers, but now the bill has been amended to limit its application to state employees. It passed one committee but it does not look like it will pass anytime soon. I have links to the Washington bills on the Washington Labor, Employee & Employee Benefits Law Blog at

Posted by: Donald Heyrich | Feb 19, 2008 2:48:38 PM

for several years, the anti-bullying bill was repeatedly reported as having failed only in 11 states. now, it is regularly reported as having failed in 13.

every three or four months another of the anti-bullying-bill-is-arriving stories appear, and is echoed in subsequent publications, as if carried on a slow tide through the ocean of syndication. it is a zombie that won't die.

several months ago (last time it came up, remember?) I asked for your guess as to what's first: US out of Iraq, or an anti-bullying bill passing?

Posted by: kent | Feb 19, 2008 4:21:27 PM

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