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Workplace Bullying Policy

Description

This document describes the MSU Denver workplace bullying policy, which addresses all employees, including student employees, applicants for employment and others in the workplace environment, including members of the public.


Policy Statement

MSU Denver shall provide a secure work environment for all employees free from bullying, and will not tolerate any behavior in the workplace that constitutes bullying activity as defined in this policy. Bullying may be directed toward an employee by a manager; co-worker, subordinate, appointing authority, vendor, contractor or member of the public. Bullying conduct may be challenged even if the complaining party is not the intended target of the conduct.

This policy is not intended to, and will not be applied in a way that would violate rights and responsibilities with regard to 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.

This policy prohibits retaliation against employees who report potential workplace bullying or participate in the investigation of the complaint.

Any employee violating this policy will be subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.


Definition

Unwanted repeated aggressive behavior that manifests as verbal abuse, conduct that is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or acts of sabotage that interfere with work, consequently creating a hostile, offensive and toxic workplace. For more detail, please see the Workplace Bullying Complaint Procedures.

 

Reporting

When an employee, including a student employee, believes that he or she is the target of behavior that they believe may satisfy the definition of workplace bullying, as defined in the University policy on bullying, the employee should report any and all incidents immediately to their supervisor, or the supervisor of the alleged bully.

Administrators and Classified employees have the right to report alleged bullying activity directly to Human Resources by submitting a written complaint with supporting documentation.
Tenured, Tenure Track, Category II and III faculty have the right to report alleged bullying activity directly to their Dean’s Office by submitting a written complaint with supporting documentation.

 

Mandatory Cooperation

All employees, supervisors, managers, appointing authorities and agents of MSU Denver shall cooperate, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, (such as conflict of interest) with any investigative process or resolution, whether informal or formal, by the appropriate investigator. Any MSU Denver employee who fails to cooperate and/or attempts to impede participation in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. To enable MSU Denver to achieve the goals of this policy, Human Resources and the Deans’ Offices shall have access to all relevant and necessary information.

 

Non-retaliation

This policy prohibits retaliation against employees who report potential workplace bullying or participate in the investigation of the complaint. Any employee bringing a complaint under this policy, or assisting in the investigation of such a complaint, will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment, nor dismissed because of the complaint. Anyone who engages in retaliatory action will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Retaliation is defined as activity that may dissuade a reasonable person from exercising his or her rights under this policy.

Employees who report alleged bullying complaints that they know are false may be subject to disciplinary action within the University, and/or external legal action from those they have falsely accused.

 

Confidentiality

To the extent feasible, information provided in the complaint and investigation process will be treated as confidential. However, MSU Denver will disclose information if deemed reasonably necessary to investigate and take appropriate corrective or disciplinary action, or to defend such corrective or disciplinary action, if required by law.

 

Witnesses

When an employee has witnessed or been made aware of behavior that they believe may satisfy the definition of workplace bullying (as defined in the University policy on bullying), the employee should report any and all incidents to their supervisor, or the supervisor of the alleged bully, Human Resources or the appropriate Dean’s Office if a faculty member is involved.

 

Supervisors

When a supervisory level employee is notified about possible workplace bullying behavior he or she must immediately notify Human Resources or the appropriate Dean’s Office if a faculty member is involved.

 

Training

In order to prevent and reduce the number of incidences of bullying, the University Offices of Equal Opportunity, Human Resources and Institutional Diversity will implement workshops for employees (including student employees) on what constitutes bullying, what the University’s policies and procedures are, the employees’ role in reporting incidents of bullying and how to access the grievance process.

 

Policy Review

The Offices of Equal Opportunity, Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion, and General Counsel shall review this policy on an annual basis and make updates as necessary.


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