Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 112237
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File Number: 112237 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-938-11 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: ENACT WORKPLACE ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION Introduced: 10/21/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 11/3/2011
Agenda Date: 11/3/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A9
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT WORKPLACE ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 11/3/2011 11A9 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Moss explained that this foregoing proposed resolution urged the Florida legislature to enact workplace anti-bullying legislation and proceeded to read into the record the resolution in its entirety. Commissioner Moss noted that bullying was a problem in the workplace and that he would introduce future legislation to respond to bullying in this community. Commissioner Jordan questioned whether the current anti-bullying legislation for school districts included private schools, and if not, noted she would co-sponsor this legislation with Commissioner Moss when presented. Hearing no further questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution as presented.

County Attorney 10/21/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT WORKPLACE ANTI-BULLYING LEGISLATION

BODY

WHEREAS, during the 2008 session, the Florida Legislature passed an anti-bullying law, considered to be one of the strongest in the country, the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, Chapter 2008-123, Laws of Florida; and
WHEREAS, the Act was named for Jeffrey Johnston, who committed suicide in 2005 at age 15 after being victimized by a classmate’s taunts, which were posted and remained on the Internet for more than a year; and
WHEREAS, the Act prohibited bullying and harassment of any public K-12 student or employee, and required school districts to adopt policies to protect students and school employees from the physical and psychological harm of bullying and harassment; and
WHEREAS, the recent suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi brought renewed attention to the problem of bullying, leading a number of states to enact anti-bullying laws or strengthen existing anti-bullying laws; and
WHEREAS, most of the focus has been on bullying at schools, but bullying in the workplace can have the same harmful impacts; and

WHEREAS, according to a Zogby International survey commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 35 percent of U.S. workers which equals an estimated 53 million Americans, have experienced bullying firsthand, while 13 percent of U.S. workers reported that they are currently being bullied in the workplace; and
WHEREAS, the Zogby survey reported that nearly half of all U.S. workers report that they have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker; and
WHEREAS, studies have documented that bullying in the workplace can have serious effects on targeted employees, including feelings of shame and humiliation, stress, loss of sleep, severe anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, reduced immunity to infection and hypertension; and
WHEREAS, studies also have documented that abusive work environments can have serious consequences for employers, such as reduced employee productivity and morale, higher turnover and absenteeism rates, and significant increases in medical and workers’ compensation claims; and
WHEREAS, legislation has been filed in 21 states that would make it unlawful to subject an employee to an abusive work environment; and
WHEREAS, such legislation would specify that an employer would be liable for workplace bullying committed by its employees; and
WHEREAS, to date, no state has passed a law prohibiting workplace bullying or the creation or maintenance of an abusive workplace environment; and

WHEREAS, this Board encourages the Florida Legislature to take the lead in passing legislation prohibiting workplace bullying,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to enact workplace anti-bullying legislation.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the issue identified in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2012 State legislation package to include this item and include this item in the 2013 state legislative package.



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