Will Tennessee add anti-bullying protections for employees and employers at private companies?
Workplace bullying -- an epidemic.
With a volunteer approach befitting the state's true nature, Antonio Parkinson is seeking to expand the reach of Tennessee's anti-bulling protective legislation to include private employers.
Learn more by tuning in to the Tennessee General Assembly hearing of the Consumer and Human Resources Committee on Monday, March 18th at 2:30 p.m.
In 2014, Tennessee became the first state to adopt legislation offering public employers immunity from certain lawsuits if they enact model anti-bullying policies and procedures that:
- assist employers in recognizing abusive conduct in the workplace
- prevent retaliation against employees reporting abusive conduct.
While neither the 2014 legislation nor the proposed 2019 legislation (HB 856) create a private right of action to those targeted for bullying, it seems that the offer of immunity from lawsuits is a powerful employer motivator that can only help targeted employees.
Representative Antonio Parkinson gets it - both from the perspective of the targeted bully and from the perspective of the employer. In an interview with WKRN last month, he described the scope of the bullying problem, noting that he has received the most phone calls from people regarding this legislation than from any other he has filed . To employers: "Think about the amount of time or the amount of production dollars to the amount of investment in your human capitol that you lose because you have a toxic work environment." He encourages people to think about the statistic: "out of the millions of people that have come to work in our state one-third of them have been victims of workplace bullying in some fashion or form."
Good luck, Antonio.