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About This Policy

Effective Date: November 2014
Last Updated: December 2014
Responsible University Office: Human Resources
Responsible University Administrator: Chief Inclusion and Human Resources Officer


Policy Contact:

Human Resources
clarksonhr@clarkson.edu

Scope of Application

This policy applies to all of the University’s managers, supervisors, employees, students, vendors, applicants and independent contractors. This policy applies to all Clarkson locations; Clarkson sponsored social or other events; as well as activities at which individuals mentioned above are present.

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Policy Purpose

Clarkson is committed to providing a working, learning and social environment that is safe and healthy and reflects the highest level of ethical and respectful conduct. This policy prohibits conduct often referred to as bullying that is intimidating, hostile, verbally, or physically abusive and not covered in the University’s Harassment Policy, OM Section 3.1.5.

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Definition of Terms

Bullying: Repeated oppression, usually psychological, generally of a less powerful person by a more powerful person, or group of persons.

Types of Bullying:  Bullying can take many forms. Examples of bullying include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal: name calling, teasing; 
  • Social: spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships; 
  • Physical: hitting, punching, shoving; and 
  • Cyber bullying: using the internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others.

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Policy Statement

Clarkson defines bullying as repeated, deliberate abusive behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or psychological, conducted by one or more persons against another (or others) that impacts the person or the person’s ability to do their job.

Clarkson considers the following types of behaviors examples of bullying:

  • Verbal: slandering, ridiculing, or maligning a person or their family; persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as butt of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks or language, insults, teasing, spreading rumors, unreasonable criticism or trivializing work or achievements and sabotaging efforts 
  • Physical: pushing; shoving; kicking; poking; tripping; assault, or threat of physical assault; damage or deliberately interfering or tampering with a worker’s personal effects or work equipment including phone, computer, email, internet, software; 
  • Psychological: isolating people from normal work interaction, excessive demands, setting unrealistic goals and deadlines, deliberately setting someone up for failure, excessive and unnecessary supervision, practical jokes, public ridicule and ostracism 
  • Non-Verbal: non-verbal threatening gestures, glances which can convey threatening messages 
  • Exclusion: socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities 
  • Cyber Bullying: bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. 

Context is important when considering whether conduct rises to the level of bullying. Bullying may be intentional or unintentional and has the effect of demeaning, intimidating or humiliating individuals or as a group. Demeaning conduct is quite different than friendly banter or playful teasing. Bullying behavior is often part of a pattern, but can also occur as a single incident. The key consideration is how the conduct is received and perceived by the recipient.

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Procedures

Responsibilities of All Employees, Students and Vendors:

Staff/Student has a responsibility to ensure that their actions do not negatively affect another staff/student member's career/academics, health or well-being and are consistent with the Clarkson University Code of Business Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct. This includes not condoning bullying by failing to do anything about it, such as raising the matter with the bully or with a supervisor or Dean.

A staff or student found to have bullied another staff or student or to have condoned workplace bullying may be subject to a formal investigation that could lead to disciplinary action. Ideally, staff should attempt to resolve issues of workplace bullying at the local level by following the below steps:

  1. Raising the issue directly with the person they believe is responsible for bullying. Often, an informal approach can quickly resolve an instance of workplace bullying; or 
  2. Seek the assistance of the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP), information on which can be found at https://www.benefitsolver.com/.
  3. Involving his or her supervisor. 

If the issue is not resolved in this way, an employee may take the follow steps:

  1. Raise the matter with another relevant manager; 
  2. Lodge a formal complaint in accordance with the University's Grievance Procedure. The policy is available in the Operations Manual Section 3.1.13
  3. Seek advice from Human Resources; 
  4. Seek the assistance of the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP), information on which can be found at https://www.benefitsolver.com/
  5. Seek advice from their union if he/she is a union member. 

Students who feel that they are or may have been bullied may take the following steps:

  1. Raising the issue directly with the person they believe is responsible for bullying. Often, an informal approach can quickly resolve an instance of bullying; 
  2. Meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the situation and potentially request a Dean’s Inquiry- http://www.clarkson.edu/studentaffairs/regulations/vi.html
  3. File a Grievance-http://www.clarkson.edu/studentaffairs/regulations/viii.html

Responsibilities of Supervisors

Supervisors have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment that enables staff to carry out their work responsibilities free from bullying. If a supervisor believes that an employee or member of the community is being bullied they should consult with their supervisor and/or Human Resources. The supervisor should document all actions taken to address the situation. The University will investigate complaints of bullying expeditiously, thoroughly and in accordance with due process. Supervisors should be fully aware of the adverse consequences of not dealing with instances of bullying as outlined above.

Supervisors should be alert to the possibility of workplace bullying and should monitor key indicators such as workplace high absenteeism and high staff turnover. Examples of bullying include but are not limited to:

  • Persistent singling out of one person 
  • Shouting, raising voice at an individual in public and/or in private 
  • Public humiliation or reprimands in any form 
  • Constant criticism on matters unrelated or minimally related to the person’s job performance or description
  • Ignoring/interrupting an individual at meetings
  • Repeatedly accusing someone of errors that cannot be documented 
  • Encouraging others to disregard a supervisor’s instructions 
  • Manipulating the ability of someone to do his or her work (e.g., overloading, withholding information, setting meaningless tasks, setting deadlines that cannot be met, giving deliberately ambiguous instructions or supplying incorrect information) 
  • Assigning menial tasks not in keeping with the normal responsibilities of the job 
  • Consistently taking credit for another person’s ideas 
  • Refusing reasonable requests for leave without legitimate work-related justification. 

Supervisor may request training from Human Resources.

Complaint Process

We encourage any employee, manager or executive who believes that they are, have been or are being subjected to bullying to immediately report the incident promptly to either the Privacy Officer at Human Resources at 268-6497. Where appropriate, an investigation will be conducted. All employees, managers and executives have an obligation to cooperate with any investigation. Please review the employee grievance process in the Operations Manual under Section 3.1.13.

Students who believe that they are, have been or are being subject to bullying, should immediately report the incident promptly to the Dean Of Students

Consequences

Any employee, manager or executive found to violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment. Any manager or supervisor who is aware of any possible violation of this policy and fails to take corrective action or notify Human Resources will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

If the student is who may be in violation of this policy or in violation of the code of student conduct, (http://www.clarkson.edu/studentaffairs/regulations/v.html) may be subject to disciplinary action according to Disciplinary Procedures http://www.clarkson.edu/studentaffairs/regulations/vi.html

Retaliation

The Company will not tolerate any retaliation against any employee who reports known or suspected violations of this policy or who participates in any investigation of the complaint. The Company recognizes that false accusations can have serious effects on innocent individuals. We trust all of our employees will act responsibly to establish and maintain a pleasant and productive working environment.

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History

Approved by Faculty Senate and Administrative Council, November 2014

Approved by President, December 2014

Editorial Revision, December 2019

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