Workplace Bullying and the Law: U.S. Legislative Developments 2013-15

Abstract

David C. Yamada

Until recently, any reference to the existence of workplace bullying laws in the U.S. was purely hypothetical. Since 2003, some 30 American states and territories have considered some form of workplace bullying legislation. The 2013-14 sessions of state legislatures saw two states - California and Tennessee - enacting workplace bullying laws that, while falling short of providing comprehensive protection to targets of these behaviors, signal America's emerging commitment to using the legal system to prevent and respond to abusive work environments. In addition, a workplace bullying bill passed by the New Hampshire legislature was vetoed by the state's governor. This essay, building upon the author's earlier scholarship and legislative drafting concerning workplace bullying, provides a summary of these recent developments.