The Workplace Psychological Safety Act is about granting our fundamental human right to dignity at work. Workplace abuse (or workplace bullying) often involves a person in power, such as a manager or supervisor, taking advantage of a less powerful employee.
Abuse of power is too often a symptom of implicit bias — a problem discrimination law stopped helping since the 1980s when courts moved from focusing on impact to intent. Intent is a high threshold that makes the law mostly ineffective at addressing bias and disrupting hierarchies at work that create haves and have-nots when those in power “other” people. More than 50 years after Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, white men still occupy the vast majority of power positions in the U.S. workforce.
Abuse may take the form of public ridicule, disrespect, overwork, and overcontrol, including put-downs, screaming, excessive criticism, destructive gossip, false accusations,...
I relocated my family to Western Massaschusetts to start a new life. I decided to go for CNA training and was hired immediately at a state facility as a 3-11 nurse’s aid.
I am a quiet, keep-to-myself type of person, and for the first seven years had no issues. One afternoon, two coworkers working in my unit got into a verbal altercation just as the PTs returned to the unit after dinner. The two coworkers were quite loud, and another woman and I helped get the PTs back to their rooms so they were not exposed to the yelling. I truly was not paying attention to the altercation — that’s not my job.
A little later, the 3-11 supervisor approached me and asked me what happened. I explained that I wasn’t paying attention to them and that my concern was for the PTs. She took me to the activities room and dictated to me what to write in a statement then left, locking the door behind her. I grew up with words of wisdom from my mom to never do anything immoral or illegal...
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