MN addresses workplace bullying

Keelia Moeller

After three years of development, Minnesota has finally laid out a new set of rules regarding bullying in the workplace, becoming the 21st state in the United States to enforce a Healthy Workplace Bill. 
 
Some of the most common issues prevalent in the workplace include forgetful employees, disappearing on the job without notice and speaking to fellow coworkers with vulgar and inappropriate language. 
 
The new bill, developed by Minnesota Management and Budget, will address the third issue listed above. It clearly lays down a set of concrete rules that acknowledge the issue of workplace bullying, explain what defines it and identify steps victims can take to prevent it. 
 
While the development of the bill is an incredible step toward better job experiences for state employees, there is one way that it could be improved.
 
The Healthy Workplace Bill clearly spells out behaviors that a reasonable person would deem inappropriate. Among these behaviors are aggression, bullying, obstruction of property and making false complaints. 
 
However, there is one criterion that the bill seems to leave out. Nowhere are the words “sexual harassment” clearly spelled out, which leaves room for loopholes through which harassers can jump. It would be best if these loopholes were completely closed off.
 
According to a 2014 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, more than one-fourth of United States employees experience workplace bullying from a co-worker or boss. 
 
The bill itself will hopefully give victims of workplace bullying the means to escape from any inappropriate behavior they are experiencing. This in itself is vital to creating better job experiences in the state while setting a good example for other states to follow suit.