What We Do
We strive to protect and promote workers’ rights to psychological wellness by advocating for the elimination of bullying and mobbing from the American workplace.
We achieve our mission by organizing and leading a national collective movement. We lobby for protective legislation and policies, build leaders who campaign for abuse-free workplaces, raise public understanding about psychological harm at work, and collaborate with other organizations to advance workers’ rights. Bias and prejudice are enmeshed in workplace abuse, so we advocate for strong protections against discrimination.
We are organized around two endeavors, the Workplace Psychological Safety Act and End Workplace Abuse.
- The Workplace Psychological Safety Act is a blueprint for comprehensive state legislation that seeks to protect workers from bullying and mobbing.
- End Workplace Abuse is a tool for advocates to voice their support for psychologically safe work environments and other workers’ rights bills. It is also a platform to partner with other organizations fighting employer abuse and safeguarding workers’ rights.
Who We Are
We are a volunteer-led and volunteer-driven corps of advocates for workers’ rights and psychological safety in the workplace. Most of us are survivors of workplace bullying and mobbing. Millions of Americans are impacted by psychologically unsafe workplaces, and among them are inspired people who seek justice. We work collaboratively to build a network spanning the U.S..
Why End Workplace Abuse was founded
Paradoxically, workplace bullying happens at a higher rate in organizations whose missions focus on serving the greater good. These organizations encompass nonprofits, government, and institutions in education, health, and human services and include organizations set up to fight injustices such as workplace bullying. End Workplace Abuse was founded to address this disparity. We vowed to set up a different kind of organization built on equitable, inclusive, and collaborative leadership and guided by processes, procedures, and policies that would minimize the possibility of harm to those we work with.
When Deb saw her former employer in higher ed embolden an abusive higher-up in 2007, she knew she had to challenge the system that allows employers to police themselves with no consequence. In her own career, she felt held back by higher-ups who wanted to look the part of leader but didn't take responsibility for maintaining psychologically safe work cultures, part of leadership. She saw firsthand how those in power channel sexism and racism through bullying acts to maintain their power.
When she saw this hypocrisy in the anti-bullying space, she knew she had to create a better way, where we walk the talk to inspire with humility, flatten the hierarchy, embrace mistakes, talk through problems, and value skills and backgrounds. Believing all employees deserve psychological safety, dignity, and respect at work for well-being, Deb co-founded End Workplace Abuse to move the needle on safer workplaces, building on her decade of working to create a national movement to end this epidemic.
As a coach with Dignity Together, Deb helps employees navigate and heal from workplace abuse and define themselves according to their own values. She hosts the "Screw the Hierarchy" podcast and has been quoted in numerous media outlets including Redbook, Forbes, Monster, and Truthout. She co-authored the Workplace Psychological Safety Act and developed a base of thousands of supporters of workplace anti-abuse legislation nationwide.
On March 15, 2018, Vicki left her paycheck on the table and walked away from her job. She’d been psychologically abused for 15 months and had no idea it was distinctive of the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing. The facts were not debatable. The bully’s behavior was deviant, unethical, and unprofessional: the complete antithesis of workplace
behavioral expectancy posted, printed, and distributed throughout the institution where she was employed for more than two decades. She believed her employer’s representative employees when
they told her there was a viable complaint process and investigations would ensue. It was only in the aftermath she realized the bully’s aberrant behavior was only the tip of the iceberg of psychologically abusive workplace behavior. What lay beneath was far more dangerous, but she
couldn’t see any of it. It was the ultimate con.
Embracing her faith, she began her advocacy work garnering organizational endorsements for workplace anti-abuse legislation shortly after leaving her toxic work environment. In 2019, she testified about her workplace experience at the Massachusetts State House. In 2020, she began serving as a support group leader for Dignity Together. In 2021, she created and ran testimony trainings to encourage advocates to come forward. More than 50 advocates testified in tandem at the Massachusetts State House. In 2022, she served as the director for the first national protest in the U.S. to raise public awareness about workplace bullying and mobbing. The protest made USA Today. Later that year, she co-founded End Workplace Abuse and co-authored the Workplace Psychological Safety Act. She freely admits advocating has proved to be the best medicine in countering the devastating effects of workplace abuse.
Our Commitment to Dignity, Agency, and Well-Being
Workplace psychological safety is a social and racial justice issue. Privileging white, able-bodied, cisgender men and those who emulate them, traditional power structures are the root cause of workplace bullying. They create dynamics that make women, BIPOC citizens, LGBTQ citizens, and the disabled more likely to become the targets of abuse. To nurture people, especially those most frequently injured by workplace bullying, we prevent hierarchy and authoritarian leadership which allow workplace psychological abuse to proliferate.
Instead, how we work is meant to allow us to nurture the broad and diverse range of people affected by workplace psychological abuse.
- We ground our work in collaborative leadership that is built on respect for the people we work with. Our leadership model is characterized by shared goals, consensus-based decision-making, partnership, transparency, clear and honest communications, a willingness to work through disagreement, acknowledgement of our collaborators’ expertise, openness to new or different ideas, and shared learning.
- We are committed to trauma-informed approaches and adhere to the guiding principles of safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment.
- We believe in accountability, taking responsibility for our decisions and actions and communicating about them, following through on what we promised, and owning our mistakes.
- We prioritize well-being – physical, emotional, and mental.
- We are dedicated to anti-racism. We strive to understand how we contribute to inequities and find ways to improve our practices.
- We have zero-tolerance for bullying behavior or behavior that leads to a toxic work culture.
Those who work with us – volunteers and organizational partners – uphold sound work practices. We partner only with those who align with our values and mission.