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Workplace psychological abuse is about power and control: mistreatment that often results in assaults to our self-worth, anxiety, depression, self-blame, isolation, stress-related symptoms, PTSD, and even suicidal ideation. It's like domestic abuse but at work. When we report abuse to HR or higher-ups, they typically ignore or retaliate against us as the toxic organization’s goal is to avoid liability and position targets as the problem. This move continues the false narrative and adds to our betrayal trauma when those expected to help us and their organizations turn against us.
Anti-discrimination law has done little to adequately help mistreated workers when courts moved form focusing on impact to intent in th 1980s. Yet workplace psychological abuse affects people of color and women at much higher rates because we operate in a system built on stereotypes and bias to reinforce power.
The absence of a law leaves competent and ethical workers with nowhere to turn — and employers with no incentive to change. Targets are forced to choose between their health and a paycheck. Their health deteriorates. Their families suffer. Sadly, thousands have already become shells of themselves with lost hope of re-entering the workforce and embracing the joy they deserve.
Today, more than ever, we need to make "workplace psychological abuse" a household term so workers don't believe they're the problem. We need to create a national movement that says abuse at work is unacceptable. We need to create enough noise to help workers detach from the abuse and fight for the legal protections they deserve to prevent toxic work behavior in the first place.
We’re introducing the Workplace Psychological Safety Act to hold employers accountable for abuse at work and to give more rights to workers, especially people of color and women. The bill will give targets legal recourse. It goes after behaviors rather than discriminatory intent, gives employers realistic deadlines for addressing reported abuse, and requires employers to report rates of turnover, stress leave, and other data so we can stop pretending these incidents are isolated and acknowledge the systemic discrimination and bias behind them.
Your one-year membership will help prevent abuse at work by helping to move our bills forward. We have two active bills with two more in the works. We need printed marketing materials and billboards to double the size of our base — so we can create more attention and urgency with workers and legislators. Give to double the size of our base to create a groundswell to pass much-needed legislation.
Every worker deserves psychological safety. It's only possible with the help of support like yours.
Workers' futures are in your hands.
For $25 per year or more, you can get the following:
- A presentation from Laura Beth Nielsen and Ellen Berrey, two authors of Rights on Trial, a book about research on the ineffectiveness of anti-discrimination law titled "Rights on Trial: How employment discrimination law perpetuates inequality"
- A presentation from Deb Falzoi of the Dignity Together and Re-Define titled "The history that shapes our ineffective U.S. anti-discrimination laws"
- "How groups in power design systems that don't work — to keep themselves in power" from Deb Falzoi's Screw the Hierarchy podcast
- "The argument for the need for the Workplace Psychological Safety Act" from Deb Falzoi's Screw the Hierarchy podcast
- "The power of collective action to heal and create change" from Deb Falzoi's Screw the Hierarchy podcast
- "4 ways our bosses can keep us from working collectively — and what we can do about it" from Deb Falzoi's Screw the Hierarchy podcast
- "How an insurance adjustor endured discrimination — while the company claimed to support diversity" from Deb Falzoi's Screw the Hierarchy podcast
- How to lobby for the Workplace Psychological Safety Act
- How to testify for the Workplace Psychological Safety Act
If you are unable to afford a membership but would still like to join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.