HR-107: Bullying in the Workplace and Civility Standards Policy

Impact Area: SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville campus, Norwich campus, EOC)

Author: Human Resources

Policy Purpose

SUNY Morrisville recognizes that it must create an environment where each person’s individual dignity will be valued. The College is dedicated to providing a workplace that values the health, dignity and well-being of all employees. This policy defines workplace bullying, establishes standards for prevention of workplace bullying, and outlines procedures for responding to and reporting incidents of bullying.


Workplace bullying is defined as repeated behavior that intentionally intimidates or isolates people at work, or undermines their reputation or job performance. It undermines the health, dignity and well-being of employees. Bullying can lead to aggression and workplace violence. It takes many forms including, but not limited to:

  • Incivility – rude or discourteous behavior toward an individual or group
  • Harassment – behavior directed toward an individual or group with the intent to annoy, alarm, manipulate, control or abuse
  • Intimidation – threats of imminent or future harm toward an individual or group
  • Exclusion – socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities
  • Humiliation – belittling or demeaning others through ridicule or spiteful remarks

While bullying is typically defined as repeated behaviors, there are times when a behavior is so egregious that it need only happen once to be considered bullying.

It is not considered bullying when a supervisor is firm in instructing and directing an employee.


SUNY Morrisville will not tolerate bullying directed toward any employees. All employees have a responsibility to behave in a respectful and civil manner (see civility standards section below) and all employees have the right to a workplace that is civil and free of bullying behaviors.

Any employee found in violation of the provisions of this policy, shall be subject to discipline up to termination of his/her employment, consistent with the terms and conditions of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), if any.

Further, retaliatory action against anyone who has, in good faith, reported bullying, or who has been involved in reporting, investigating, or responding to bullying, is a violation of this policy. Those found responsible for any retaliatory action will be subject to discipline up to and including termination consistent with the terms and conditions of the applicable CBA.


Expected and acceptable communications/behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • Holding yourself and others accountable to SUNY Morrisville’s missions, vision and core values.
  • Interacting with others in a considerate, patient and courteous manner.
  • Promoting equality and acceptance of people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrating a caring and positive attitude: smile, greet and acknowledge others, make eye contact, say please and thank you, give recognition and praise.
  • Respecting confidentiality and privacy at all times.
  • Working together by promoting cooperation, participation and sharing of ideas and information to promote team success.
  • Fostering open and honest communication, and being honest and truthful at all times.
  • Actively listening to the perspective of others and seeking to resolve conflicts promptly.
  • Apologizing when mistakes are made or misunderstandings have occurred.
  • Using proper channels to express dissatisfaction.
  • Promoting an environment that includes respect for differences which are valued and/or protected. These include: age, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, gender/sex, disability, familial status, pregnancy, arrest record, conviction record, genetic disposition, gender identity, workers with care-giving responsibilities, and military status (including Vietnam-era veterans, special disabled veterans and other eligible veterans).
  • Being knowledgeable with and following applicable policies and procedures (e.g. Workplace Violence, Bullying, Domestic Violence and the Workplace, Affirmative Action, Code of Ethics, Social Media Policy).

Complaint Process

Bullying should be reported to the victim’s immediate supervisor. Supervisors must consult with Human Resources and provide a response to employees within 14 calendar days.

Alternate Process: If the bullying behavior is from the immediate supervisor, report it to the supervisor’s supervisor or directly to the Human Resources Office. A response will be provided within 14 calendar days.