Allstate Protects Their Bullies

I am now posting the articles I receive, to this board instead of the front page. I think it will simplify things and I can get the articles posted quicker. Our sincere thanks to Deborah True who sends most of them to us.

Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:35 pm

http://www.ibamag.com/news/the-workplac ... 17603.aspx

The workplace behavior that’s ramping up health, WC and EPL claims
by Caitlin Bronson
Mar 19, 2014

In an environment where insurance rates only seem to increase, cost-saving behaviors are paramount for employers. Independent agents and brokers are uniquely positioned to assist with value-added services that decrease both rates and claims, and helping an employer eliminate workplace bullying may bring down costs in health, disability, workers’ compensation and employment practices liability.

Workplace mistreatment and office bullying is on the rise, according to a new report from XpertHR. A 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) survey shows that nearly a third of Americans have suffered serious bullying at work, and other 21% have witnessed it.

That’s an increase from 15% just a year before, and is costing US employers more than $4bn annually—including in a wide variety of insurance claims.

“One of the first ways employers will feel the repercussions of bullying is in increased workers comp claims and higher health rates due to greater use of sick days,” said Beth Zoller, a former employment discrimination attorney and legal editor at XpertHR. “And although a number of states have proposed a workplace bullying law, none have passed. That means victims are forced to seek recourse through legal channels based on emotional distress, defamation, assault and battery. That really increases an employer’s exposure.”

Indeed, researchers at the National Institution of Occupational Safety and Health recently discovered that office bullying accounted for 5.5% of sickness and absenteeism in 2010. However, just 5.5% of employers told the WBI they had a workplace policy addressing bullying, and only 10% of employers acknowledged that bullying is an issue.

Carriers have not been quick to address the issue either, said Tim Davis, sales manager for the workers’ comp wholesaler Insurance Shop.

“It wouldn’t shock me if this was to become a more common underwriting question, though, especially in workplace environments where bullying could occur,” Davis acknowledged. “I think the biggest challenge will be for agents to identify those industries in which bullying is a problem and provide insureds with education on the problem and what might be done to mitigate some of those issues.”

XpertHR’s research answers some of these questions. According to Zoller, workplace bullying is especially rampant in the higher education, nursing and healthcare industries, as well as in financial services “where things are more competitive.” Athletics may also be another hotspot, given “the need to be tough,” she said.
As to an agent’s role?

“Employer response [to bullying] is obviously inadequate,” Zoller said. “I think insurance agents can serve their clients by working with employers in creating a strong discrimination and harassment policy, and making sure all employees and supervisors receive training.”

A workplace bullying policy should be backed by strong enforcement, which may include suspension, demotion, transfer of the bully and even termination. Agents should also ensure bullying is reported and claims processed as quickly as possible.

“If they are able to respond quickly, this will really decrease costs and be helpful to the insurance agent as well,” she said.
RatPak11
Done That
Done That
 
Posts: 3082
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:25 pm

Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:37 pm

http://www.ibamag.com/news/office-bully ... 17452.aspx

Office bullying may be driving up workers’ comp costs
by Caitlin Bronson
Mar 05, 2014

Workplace mistreatment and office bullying contributes to employer losses of more than $4bn in annual absences, including in workers’ comp and disability insurance, a new study suggests.

According to researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, bullying accounted for 5.5% of sickness absenteeism in 2010. That translates to higher workers’ comp costs in an environment already wary of additional risk.

Researchers noted that workplace bullying, which could include insults, intimidation, withholding information or gossiping, often causes anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms and even post-traumatic stress disorder in affected workers.

“Furthermore, as exposure to bullying increases, the risk of depressive symptoms also increases,” the study found. “Besides targets of workplace bullying, employees who observed workplace bullying have also reported stress and anxiety.”

All told, office bullying was associated with a 42% increase in the number of missed workdays and resulting workers’ comp claims.

Tim Davis, sales manager for the workers’ comp wholesaler Insurance Shop, said insurance carriers have not yet begun addressing bullying in education and training services.

“It wouldn’t shock me if this was to become a more common underwriting question, though, especially in workplace environments where bullying could occur,” Davis acknowledged. “I think the biggest challenge will be for agents to identify those industries in which bullying is a problem and provide insureds with education on the problem and what might be done to mitigate some of those issues.”

According to the study, women were more likely to file workers’ comp claims relating to office bullying than men. Workers in protective services community and social services, and healthcare support occupations also reported higher occurrence of mistreatment, with an average 17.8% reporting bullying.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, just 3.5% of workers in architecture and engineering; life, physical and social science; and business and finance reported missing work or filing workers’ comp claims in response to office bullying.

Davis believes that market conditions will soon supply agents with education resources to combat these trends.

“It’s too early to make substantial decisions, but with the market the way it is currently, carriers are considering every aspect of risk analysis to determine whether they want to write workers’ comp,” he said.
RatPak11
Done That
Done That
 
Posts: 3082
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:25 pm

Re: Allstate Protects Their Bullies

Unread postby RatPak11 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:44 pm

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/how_to_dea ... e_bullying

How to deal with workplace bullying
Adults who are bullied at work can take specific actions to address the situation.
Posted on March 31, 2014
by Carolyn Penniman, Michigan State University Extension

As awareness increases, more adults are recognizing the signs of workplace bullying, according to research reported by Michigan State University Extension. Bullying causes increased stress in the targeted employee, as well as the coworkers who witness it. It also reduces productivity and loyalty to the organization and can cause frequent employee turnover. Those who experience it find that the stress takes a heavy toll on their mental and physical health, and often think that leaving is the only course of action available to them.

Workplace bullying is different from constructive criticism or conflict. Bullying is persistent, it focuses on a person rather than a task and the recipient feels powerless to change it. Employees who experience bullying may have difficulty naming or explaining it, and often feel isolated and excluded from the support of coworkers.

What can you do when you find yourself in this situation?

In his blog Minding the Workplace, David Yamada suggests four stages in the process of addressing bullying, cautioning that each bullying situation is different and there are no easy remedies.

Recognize – it can be challenging to figure out what is happening, especially if the person who is bullying puts on an act and is charming some of the time (typically in the presence of witnesses), but vicious and vindictive at other times (typically where there are no witnesses). Bullying is also not harassment. Under federal civil rights laws, harassment is unwelcome conduct based on a protected class (race, national origin, color, sex, age, disability, religion) that is severe, pervasive or persistent and creates a hostile environment.

Respond – carefully explore what actions to take. Enlisting support within or outside the workplace, reporting it, filing a complaint or leaving the situation are potential responses. Some tips to effectively tell your story are offered in Public Broadcasting Service’s This Emotional Life:
Be rational. Tell the story in a logical and organized way and highlight key points or important events.

Keep emotions in check. Bullying is upsetting, but your story will be better received if you remain calm. Research has found that targets were considered less believable if they showed negative emotions while sharing their story.

Be consistent. Document the abusive treatment by keeping a record of specific events, and save e-mail or other written communication that can demonstrate and support your assertions.

Be focused. Avoid sharing details that might seem unrelated to the bullying behavior.

Emphasize your talents and skills. Targets are sometimes viewed as “problem employees,” so it’s important to highlight your strengths and successes.

Show understanding of others’ points of view. Acknowledge that the bully may not recognize how you have been affected by their actions, or perceive it to be abusive treatment.

Be specific. Use clear, specific, concrete language and examples when you tell your story.

Recover – Yamada suggests using whatever safe coping strategies may be available, but that it may be difficult to enter this stage if the threat is not removed. Recovering from bullying while you’re still experiencing it can be nearly impossible. One strategy might be to emotionally detach from your work and create meaningful connections related to your profession or trade outside your workplace. It could also mean ‘getting to tolerance’ by engaging in mindfulness practices, such as meditation, to take the edge off the most stressful aspects of your work experience. Another option is pursuing hobbies outside of work that provide meaning, engagement and satisfaction. Those who experience clinical depression, suicidal thoughts or symptoms consistent with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) should seek professional help.

Renewal – renewing is an ongoing process of finding ways to deal with recurrent feelings of anger, fear and resentment. People can and do find their way out of the darkness, discovering strengths they didn’t know they possessed. These qualities help them to become more resilient as they regain balance and dignity in their self-identity.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).
RatPak11
Done That
Done That
 
Posts: 3082
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:25 pm

Previous

Return to Allstate Articles of Interest

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron