Monday, January 05, 2015

New law: School districts might be banned from allowing intimidating or humiliating behavior by teachers toward other teachers--and the gratuitous sabotage of work performance

Will teacher culture change due to new laws requiring examination of bullying in the workplace?  I doubt it.  Teacher culture is really just human nature adapted to a particular setting, and it is perhaps most intensely practiced by those teachers who have become administrators. Here's an article about new laws in California, including the requirement to train employees about bullying.  It may be a first step toward making bullying illegal in the workplace.

CALIFORNIA: 5 new laws that will affect employers, workers
Press Enterprise 

It’s 2015 and with the new year comes new state laws that affect California employers and employees.

Among them is legislation that affects sick leave use and accrual, employer responsibilities regarding independent contractors, and the inclusion of “abusive conduct” training for supervisors. Unpaid interns and foreign workers also have new protections...


Law: AB 2053. Expands existing sexual-harassment training requirements to include prevention of abusive conduct.

What it says: Employers already required to provide sexual harrassment training to supervisors must now also provide training on “abusive conduct.”
That conduct is defined as something that “a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests.” Acts can include “repeated infliction of verbal abuse...verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance.”

The law also states that no single act can be counted as abusive conduct “unless especially severe and egregious.”

What it means: The National Review article notes that AB 2053 does not say what should be included in the training component for abusive conduct, and suggests employers consult with approved trainers to see how it can be incorporated into sexual harrassment training programs.
Attorneys Messigian and Ratinoff comment that the law “does not create a cause of action for abusive conduct in the workplace, but it does appear to be the first step toward protecting workers against bullying in the workplace that is not linked to any form of illegal discrimination.”...

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