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Workplace bullying As the author of the model legislation (dubbed the “Healthy Workplace Bill”) that has been the primary basis of workplace bullying legislation introduced in some 10 states, I wanted to respond to “States take aim by taming ‘bully bosses’ ” [ NLJ, April 9]. First, it is not quite correct to say “that there has been very little case law in the area of bullying.” Several years ago, I studied hundreds of state court decisions on intentional infliction of emotional distress claims brought against employers and co-employees by bullied workers and found that courts regularly turned a blind eye to even severe, malicious cases of bullying. In a lengthy law review article (88 Geo. L.J. 475 (2000)), I concluded that existing common law and statutory protections were inadequate to protect severely bullied workers. Second, Employment Law Alliance Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hirschfeld exaggerates the potential impact of anti-bullying legislation by suggesting that “it’ll open the floodgates to litigation.” If drafted carefully, a statutory legal protection against workplace bullying can grant relief to severely abused workers and serve as an incentive for employers to act preventively and responsively to this hidden epidemic. In fact, the Healthy Workplace Bill sets a high standard of proof for plaintiffs, imposes caps on damages and grants numerous affirmative defenses for employers. Some members of the plaintiffs’ employment bar have refused to support it because they believe it is too “pro-employer”! If you have ever known someone who has been so devastated by psychologically abusive treatment at work that he or she literally cannot get out of bed because of work-induced clinical depression, then you know what this is about. Tragically, the current state of American employment law affords these individuals few avenues of legal recourse. This must change. DAVID YAMADA BOSTON The writer is a professor of law at Suffolk University Law School. Health courts The article “Pilot program establishes health courts” [ NLJ Web-only, April 12] incorrectly describes Common Good as a “nonpartisan legal reform coalition.” Is it? Its founder is Philip K. Howard, who is the author of the infamous The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America, and the book The Collapse of the Common Good: How America’s Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom. Does that sound like a “nonpartisan” kind of guy whom we could expect to create a fair court for hearing malpractice cases? I think not. It is the description of the kind of tort reform zealot who would create a kangaroo court of the worst kind with no accountability for the incompetence and negligence of health providers. PAUL LUVERA SEATTLE

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