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Minnesota Moves to Knock Out Workplace Bullying

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MAPE has served as an integral partner with the state in the creation of a policy aimed at reducing bullying in the workplace. Credit: Wavebreakmedia
MAPE has served as an integral partner with the state in the creation of a policy aimed at reducing bullying in the workplace. Credit: Wavebreakmedia
 By John MichaelsonContact
October 14, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. - This is National Bullying Prevention Month, and in Minnesota that doesn't just mean action when it comes to reducing the prevalence in schools.

Earlier this year, Minnesota released a new Respectful Workplace Policy for state workers with input from such groups as the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. MAPE member Anne Moore, public information officer for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said this month that the associated training for all supervisors and employees will be released.

"It's a video series. It does show the behaviors and then what can happen as a result of those behaviors," she said. "We're helping people understand that if they're targeted, if it's an ongoing problem and if it's a detrimental effect on a worker's emotional, physical, mental health, that there is a path of hope."

It's estimated that more than one in four workers has been bullied by a coworker or a boss, although Moore noted that many times it goes unreported.

While this policy only covers state employees, she said, the impact will go far beyond.

"Having a healthier workplace for about 50,000 people has a lot of ramifications, not only in the workplace but at home, at schools and families," she said. "They're setting the standard, they're modeling the behavior and it ends up being a healthier environment and culture."

The Respectful Workplace Policy outlines the procedures that state workers can take to have any concerns addressed and includes a section that specifically prohibits any form of retaliation on the job.

The policy is online at workplacebullying.org. Workplace bullying research is at workplacebullying.org.

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