UC invites comments on proposed policy on abusive conduct, bullying in the workplace

The University of California Office of the President invites comments on a proposed Presidential Policy on Abusive Conduct/Bullying in the Workplace. The proposed policy covers abusive conduct/bullying and retaliation by and against members of the University community in the workplace. 

UC Santa Cruz is fully committed to fostering an environment free from bullying and abusive conduct and affirms that everyone in the UC Santa Cruz community is entitled to work in an atmosphere free from bullying and abusive conduct. 

Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall not constitute abusive conduct, unless especially severe and egregious.

The proposed policy includes the following key provisions: 

  • The proposed policy affirms the University of California’s commitment to promoting and maintaining a healthy working and learning environment in which each individual is treated with civility and respect. 
  • The proposed policy identifies examples of abusive conduct/bullying, as well as examples of reasonable actions that do not constitute abusive conduct/bullying.
  • The proposed policy prohibits retaliation against any person who, in good faith, reports abusive conduct/bullying, assists someone with a report of abusive conduct/bullying, or participates in an investigation or other process under the policy. 
  • The proposed policy addresses free speech and academic freedom. The proposed policy is intended to protect members of the University community from abusive conduct/bullying, not to regulate protected speech. The proposed policy recognizes that freedom of speech and academic freedom are not limitless and do not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates federal, State, or University policies.
  • The proposed policy outlines the consequences of noncompliance, which include remediation, educational efforts, and/or employment consequences including informal counseling, adverse performance evaluations, corrective action/discipline, and termination. 

The draft policy is posted online.

If you believe you are the target of workplace bullying or abusive conduct, please contact one of the following individuals:

  • Staff (including student employees): Jennifer Schiffner at 831-459–1930 or jschiffn@ucsc.edu 
  • Academic employees (including student employees): Danny Gray at 831-459–5032 or dggray@ucsc.edu
  • Everyone: Nancy Heischman at 831-459–2290 or nheischm@ucsc.edu

UC Santa Cruz has compiled online resources, including a website with information on identifying workplace bullying, as well as procedures and resources for employees affected by bullying at work.

Conflict Resolution Services offers training on how to respond to bullying—for managers and supervisors, as well as those who are experiencing abusive conduct. You may contactNancy Heischmanat 831-459–2290 or nheischm@ucsc.edu to learn more.

Comments on the proposed policy may be submitted to the Policy Coordination Office at pco@ucsc.edu. The deadline to provide comments is Feb. 7, 2022.