Monthly Archives: November 2015

The impact of workplace bullying

The national advocacy and education organization Mental Health America is involved in a long-term project addressing workplace bullying and mental health. Preliminary results from the group’s survey work found that 80 percent of people who feel they are in an “unhelpful or hostile work environment” say they prefer to work alone rather than in teams.

That’s a staggeringly high number. Even half that number is still too much, particularly when you consider the increased importance of teamwork in the modern workplace. Clearly, this is not all the result of in-your-face bullying.

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Teen With Asperger’s Records Bullying With Selfie Stick (UK)

A 14-year-old British boy named Ryan Wiggins is bullied every day at school over his Asperger syndrome. To fight the bullying, he recorded a video entitled “Tomorrow,” using a selfie stick to document his emotional state. The video captures his day, waking up, taking his medication and going to school. ​”Will there ever be a time when I’m finally happy?” he asks.

Wiggins posted the video for anti-bullying week in the U.K.


Woolworths employee jailed over workplace bullying at Moe store (AU)

brodie panlock(NOTE:  This is the first successful prosecution I am aware of under “Brodie’s Law,” the only statute anywhere that criminalizes workplace bullying.  It was passed in the State of Victoria in Australia after a victim of workplace bullying, a young waitress named Brodie Panlock, committed suicide after enduring severe bullying in her workplace.  Prosecutions under “Brodies’s Law” have been extremely rare.  In fact, I have not been able to find an example of one until this story broke.  One of the reasons that there have been so few prosecutions may be related to the amendment to the Fair Work Act that included bullying in its protections effective January 1, 2014.  But the Victoria law remains the only law in the commonwealth countries or U. S. that makes workplace bullying a criminal act.  Note that the defendant was accused of “stalking.”  The reason is that the provisions criminalizing workplace bullying were an amendment to the already existing criminal stalking statutes.  Workplace bullying in Victoria is a form of “stalking.”  — Mike Tully)

A Gippsland man has been jailed for six months over what has been described as an extended and systematic campaign of workplace bullying that made his victims’ lives “a living hell”.

Sean Clare, from Moe, pleaded guilty to the charge of stalking in relation to the bullying of two colleagues at the Woolworths store in Moe between August 2010 and August 2013.

The 46-year-old verbally abused his then-night shift manager Erica Jegers and another employee, Steven Ricketts.

The Latrobe Magistrates’ Court heard Clare often undermined Ms Jegers, refusing to perform simple tasks and spread rumours she was having an affair.

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HR manager told to emulate ‘Pretty Woman’ was fairly dismissed, court rules (AU)

The former HR manager of the Catholic Education Office Diocese (CEOD) of Parramatta has been found to have been justifiably dismissed, after her alleged bullying of employees led to her dismissal.

During her tenure at the CEOD, Karen Wroughton was alleged to have bullied and harassed staff.

Her behaviour was found by her employer to have created fear and intimidation, and ultimately impacted her team, as well as other teams and general workplace productivity.

Following her dismissal, Wroughton took her case to the Federal Court – however, it was dismissed by the judge, who found that she had created “a climate of intimidation and fear” that led to a breakdown in workplace relationships.

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5 days of ‘torture’ leave Manitoba teen struggling to heal after relentless cyberbullying (CA)

A Manitoba teen victim and her mother have come forward to share their story of relentless cyberbullying in hopes it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“No one should ever go through what I did,” the girl, who can’t be identified, said.

In late December of 2013, 14-year-old “Jane” got a Facebook message from a man she didn’t know.

She responded and a conversation began. What seemed like a friendly exchange quickly turned into what would become a five-day attack.

An 18-year-old man, who can only be referred to as Z.M., befriended the girl, flattered her and gained her trust.

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Workplace bullying on the rise across the South West, new report reveals (UK)

BULLYING in the workplace is on the rise across the South West with some victims reporting that it has driven them to consider suicide, a new report has revealed.

Acas, which provides a helpline for victims of bullying at work, is urging businesses to look at how they deal with issue.

In its latest report, Seeking better solutions: tackling bullying and ill-treatment in Britain’s workplaces, the organisation warns workplace bullying is on the rise across the country.

Acas South West dealt with around 2,100 calls related to bullying and harassment over the past year.

It said that some callers reported that workplace bullying caused them to self-harm or consider suicide.

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New workplace bullying report raises awareness in UK

BLOG-UK_FLAGRecently workplace bullying gained increased attention in the United Kingdom due to media report about a discussion paper released by Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

The report called “Seeking better solutions: tackling bullying and ill-treatment in Britain’s workplaces” is a very good summary of thinking on workplace bullying that acknowledges the Australian experience but seems to indicate that Britain remains in the early stages of tacking the workplace bullying situation after a series of false starts on the issue.

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Doctors aim to shine light on bullying (NZ)

NEW ZEALANDIn September, a report by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons told of bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment carried out by its own members.

Today was the last day of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) conference in Wellington, and this morning’s discussion went straight into the issue of sexual harassment and bullying.

Having an open discussion about workplace bullying was important because it was an issue that needed to be discussed, MidCentral DHB chief medical officer and Chief Medical Officers group head Ken Clark said.

The problem was not just with surgeons as surveys showed many medical officers had also witnessed or experienced bullying, Dr Clark said.

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WNC school suspends all clubs after parents question LGBT group (NC)

(NOTE:  Somebody should have told the grandmother to consult with Teaching Tolerance.  They could explain how to address the issue.  Of course, sometimes it’s more attractive to hate than learn.  — Mike Tully)

LAKE LURE – After parents complained about a newly formed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Club at Rutherford County K-12 public charter school, the school’s board of directors suspended all clubs’ activities.

Parents, teachers, pastors and concerned citizens voiced a mix of opinions to the club during Lake Lure Classical Academy’s regular board of directors meeting Thursday.

The board voted 5-3 to suspend all club activity until it can seek legal counsel on club protocol.

Visual arts teacher Layne Long said she allowed a female student to hold the club’s meetings in her classroom and gave the student a poster from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to display. One grandmother complained that the poster meant she had to explain the meaning of “gay” and “lesbian” to her elementary school grandchild.

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Victim in sexting cases gets protection under new law

Scales of JusticeWEST CHESTER >> The teenage girl at the center of a sexting scandal in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District has received protection from her alleged tormenters through a new state law that was enacted to close loopholes in the old Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act.

Last month, Common Pleas Court Judge Katherine B.L. Platt signed temporary orders against four youths from Devon and Berwyn, forbidding them from having any contact with a 14-year-old girl who claimed they had “physically, verbally, and sexually assaulted” her, and had used social media to turn others against her.

The youths, who were identified in the complaint by name, were also forbidden from going to the girl’s home or attempting to stalk or harass her by any means.

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