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The U.S. is one of the last industrialized nations to address workplace abuse (also known as bullying, moral harassment, psychological harassment, and power harassment).

So who’s already addressed it, and what do their laws do?



Working Conditions ActFirst to frame workplace abuse as an occupational health and safety hazard


Social Modernization LawLabor Code: Chapter II: Moral HarassmentPenal Code: Article 222-33-2Includes criminal liability (under "Moral Harassment")


Article 417 of the Debts Act


Three takeaways:

  • They all call for employer accountability.
  • They have had a positive impact on business goals.
  • They have not resulted in a clogging of the courts.

In 2019, the International Labor Organization, an UN agency which promotes decent work for all people, passed the Violence and Harassment Convention. This convention sets international standards for preventing and responding to violence and harassment at work, including gender-based violence. Nineteen countries, including Italy, Greece, and Mexico as well as Great Britain and Spain, have ratified the convention and are bound to enforce it.

In 2020, Puerto Rico became the first U.S. territory to pass workplace anti-abuse legislation, the Law to Prohibit and Prevent Workplace Harassment.

Like international laws, the Puerto Rico law calls for prevention and elimination of abuse at work according to Article 5 of the law.

All Americans deserve a psychologically safe workplace, too.


Photo by Pixabay

We believe America’s workers have a right to safe workplaces where their psychological health is recognized as a vital component of overall well-being. All people — regardless of their gender, race, color, national origin, class, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, size, income, faith, religion, and political affiliation — deserve to lead healthy and productive lives and to work in safe environments free from workplace abuse, workplace bullying, workplace mobbing, and oppression.

We are part of End Workplace Abuse, which strives to protect and promote workers’ right to psychological wellness – critical to physical health, by advocating for the elimination of abusive behaviors (bullying, mobbing, and harassment) from the American workplace. We achieve our mission by organizing and leading a collective movement advocating for psychological safety at work. We lobby for protective legislation and policies, raise public awareness about psychological harm at work, build leaders who campaign for abuse-free workplaces, and collaborate with other organizations advancing workers’ rights. Because bias and prejudice are often an integral part of workplace abuse, we advocate for protections against discrimination.

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