The “Long Winding Road” Of Discontent and Bad Behavior

The Beatles ballad called, “The Long and Winding Road” was written by Paul McCartney in 1968 and became the group’s 20th and last #1 song in the United States on 13th June 1970.

It was written by McCartney at a time when he saw that there was great dissention between the group’s members and was a reflective piece about the struggles encountered in progressing forward as artists at that time. People within the band weren’t treating each other very nicely.

For me though the title is synonymous with what has recently happened in the State of California.

Bill 2053 in California State Law

On September 9th, 2014, California State Governor, Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 2053, the first anti-bullying law in the state.

The new piece of legislation requires that every employer (with more than 50 employees) must provide their supervisory staff with training regarding the prevention of workplace bullying. The training must be incorporated into the current sexual harassment training that is already occurring to the same audience every 2 years.

Within the legislation a definition of ‘abusive conduct’ is included and speaks to the ‘reasonable person’ test that we hear so often in harassment circles.

“Abusive conduct” means conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and egregious.

What? No Employee Training?

Looking through the new legislation, I noticed that there is no training mandated for employees. Only the supervisors of those employees.

Neither does this new training legislation specifically prohibit the abusive conduct. It focuses on providing those supervisors with education about its prevention.

Regardless of the black and white text within Assembly Bill No. 2053, it must be viewed as a massive step forward for all employees within the State of California. This is a realization that it is important to look at workplace relationships seriously and to deal with those negative behaviours which exist within many workplaces. We need to work inclusive of each other if we are to make a real difference.

Perhaps another Paul McCartney song “All Together Now” was written as a result of the improving atmosphere within the world’s most famous band and born out of a premonition that help was on the way…..albeit in 2014!