Workplace Bullying Institute

Last updated: September 27, 2018

What Does Workplace Bullying Institute Mean?

The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) is a nonprofit U.S. organization dedicated to the cessation of workplace bullying.

Created by clinical psychologists Ruth and Gary Namie in 1997, the institute combines legislative advocacy with training and consulting services, conducts research into workplace bullying, and provides resources and guidance services for individuals dealing with a workplace bullying situation.

Safeopedia Explains Workplace Bullying Institute

The WBI is a longstanding critic of existing U.S. federal and state anti-bullying protections for employees. OSHA has no specific standards against bullying in workplaces, although the General Duty Clause and other legal clauses provide legal protections against violence and threats. The WBI considers this to be an inadequate defense against other forms of harassment.

Current forms of legal redress for bullying often rely on proving that discrimination against a legally protected status (e.g. race, gender) has taken place. The WBI’s “Healthy Workplace Bill” is an attempt to provide “status blind” protections for employees that do not rely on discrimination. Versions of the bill have been introduced in more than half of U.S. state legislatures more than 100 times, but as of early 2018 no legislature has fully passed the WBI’s preferred version of the bill.

The WBI’s anti-bullying advocacy also links general employment safety to bullying issues. In the past, they have criticized OSHA for failing to adequately penalize organizations for worker fatality incidents related to negligent or insufficient safety measures but that are not directly related to bullying.


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