Proposal in Mass. targets bullying at work

Updated:

BOSTON (AP) - A bill under consideration at the State House would target bullying in the workplace.

A legislative panel is scheduled to hear testimony on Tuesday on the proposed law that supporters call "The Healthy Workforce" bill.

The measure would offer protections and legal recourse to workers who have been subject to bullying, abuse or other forms of harassment at work.

While Massachusetts already prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, supporters of the bill say bullying and other forms of mistreatment are even more prevalent than sexual harassment and can inflict serious psychological harm on victims.

Supporters also say abusive work environments also hurt productivity by lowering morale and leading to high turnover and absentee rates, along with increased medical and workers compensation claims.

The bill would provide safeguards for employers against frivolous claims by workers.