Workplace Bullying Could Become Safety Violation in Hawaii

February 27, 2012

Bullying, abuse and verbal harassment in the workplace may cause employees physical and psychological harm.

That’s part of the rationale behind a proposal in Hawaii to make abusive conduct against an employee an occupational safety violation. Victims would be eligible for workers’ compensation.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee this week is deciding whether to send Senate Bill 2487 to the full Senate for approval.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor recently held a hearing on the bill. Two employees testified about the emotional distress they suffered because of an abusive supervisor. Although the employees got a restraining order, the abuse continued for another two years.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety defines workplace bullying as intimidation, slandering, social isolation or humiliation by one or more persons against another.

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