Tonawanda News

March 6, 2014

NT council approves anti-bullying policy

By Michael Regan
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The North Tonawanda Common Council on Tuesday approved a new workplace violence policy that will now include the issue of bullying. 

Assistant City Attorney Katherine D. Alexander told the Tonawanda News last week that the the move was in response to requests by several employees to bring bullying protections into the fold. 

The new policy language now targets abusive work environments that predates a bill introduced in the New York State Legislature that would address bullying in the workplace statewide. 

Alexander said the push to change the policy was brought about as means to stay proactive and ebb incidents of bullying. The policy change creates a chain of command that starts with department heads but also includes the city’s legal department, she said. 

Mayor Rob Ortt said while the problem of bullying is often associated with children and teenagers, it has also received widespread attention as recently as this fall among members of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. A player on that team said he was constantly bullied and harassed by teammates and coaches, prompting the league to investigate the player’s workplace environment.

“I think people often view it as a high school issue,” Ortt said. “But it’s an adult issue as well. We want to give our employees a channel to report incidents of bullying and have a workplace that’s conducive to a safe environment.” 

The workplace violence policy was last updated in 2009. 

In other news, the council approved a request by Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish to hold a 5K Run and One-Mile Fun Walk on Aug. 24 between Center and Fifth avenues.