OU Administrative Policies
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714 Workplace Bullying

SUBJECT:WORKPLACE BULLYING POLICY
NUMBER:714
AUTHORIZING BODY:PRESIDENT
RESPONSIBLE OFFICE:ACADEMIC HUMAN RESOURCES/UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES
DATE ISSUED:DECEMBER 12, 2016
LAST UPDATE:NEW POLICY

RATIONALE:  This administrative policy creates a process for reporting, investigating and resolving complaints related to workplace bullying. The intent of this policy is to stop workplace bullying as quickly as possible in a just manner.

POLICY:  This policy establishes procedures for the reporting and intervention of workplace bullying.

SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY:  This policy applies to all faculty, staff and students, when relating to work for the university, both on and off campus. This policy is not intended to and will not be applied in a way that would violate academic freedom and freedom of expression, nor will it be interpreted in a way that undermines a supervisor’s authority to appropriately manage their work unit.

DEFINITIONS:   A “bully” generally describes a person who intentionally uses physical strength, verbal intimidation, or technology to frighten or hurt someone or who engages in exclusionary or obstructionist behavior. “Workplace bullying” generally means to intentionally insult, threaten, intimidate, embarrass or pressure a person by force, taunt or derision, or to intentionally use abusive language or behavior against someone in the workplace. Workplace bullying can occur by physical act, or by verbal, written or electronic communication.

Workplace bullying generally does not arise:

  • From a single incident.
  • In connection with routine employment performance evaluations or their consequences.

From the imposition of discipline in accordance with established employment policies and procedures.

PROCEDURES:  Faculty, staff, student employees and graduate assistants who believe they or others are being bullied in the workplace can take action in any of the following ways:

  1. They may choose to tell the workplace bully to discontinue their behavior.
  2. If they are not comfortable confronting the workplace bully, they can inform the department chair or immediate supervisor of the alleged bully. If the alleged bully works in a different division, the individual should also consider informing their immediate supervisor of the bullying behavior.
  3. If they are not comfortable informing the department chair or immediate supervisor, they can report the bullying behavior to University Human Resources.
  4. If the President is the alleged workplace bully, the individual can report the issue to the head of Human Resources and/or the head of Internal Audit, oakland.edu/audit/fraud-anonymous-tip-hotline/.
Reports of bullying should be made as soon as possible so that the appropriate steps can be taken including but not limited to fact finding and investigation of the matter. Early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective methods for resolving workplace bullying.

The University will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who acted in good faith and reported workplace bullying.

If workplace bullying is occurring, it will be stopped. The individual engaging in such bully behavior and anyone who retaliated against someone who reported workplace bullying will be dealt with consistent with the policies, procedures, and/or agreements applicable to their respective employee classification. If either party is a member of a group subject to a collective bargaining agreement with the University and the terms of that agreement specifically alter or conflict with these procedures, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement shall prevail.

RELATED POLICIES AND FORMS:  

OU AP & P   #710   Administrative Guidelines Prohibiting Discrimination
OU AP & P   #711   Guidelines for Handling Discrimination Complaints
OU AP & P   #712   Administrative Guidelines Supporting the Equal Opportunity Policy
OU AP & P   #890   Use of University Information Technology Resources
Student Code of Conduct