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Bill Seeks To End Workplace Bullying In Mass. 25:02

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Is your boss a bully? (jmiller2012/Flickr)
Is your boss a bully? (jmiller2012/Flickr)

Raise your hand if you've ever worked for a boss who was a bully. Not just mean, or difficult, but downright abusive. If your hand is up, you're not alone. According to a recent study from the Chicago-based organization Career Builder, 35 percent of workers say they've felt bullied at work.

Now, Massachusetts is considering a legal remedy. It's called the Healthy Workplace Bill, and if passed, it could allow workers to sue bosses who've caused physical and/or psychological harm. The bill is now in its third session in the Massachusetts Legislature, and it raises important questions about how to create a good work environment. We spend so much of our lives at work, why shouldn't it be as supportive and respectful an environment as possible?

Then again, when it comes to adult interactions, when we say "bullying", what are we really talking about? Could the bill become an easy way out for disgruntled employees? And if 35 percent of people really do feel bullied at work, isn't there a deeper cultural problem here?


David Yamada, author of the Healthy Workplace Bill, professor of labor and employment law and director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University

Andrew Botti, business and employment litigator and director of The McLane Law Firm in Woburn. Member of the human resources committee for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

This segment aired on July 2, 2013.