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What Is and Isn’t Covered
The definition of bullying and harassment in this policy, is consistent with the WorkSafeBC definition of bullying and harassment. According to this definition, bullying and harassment does not include every unpleasant interaction, or instance of disrespectful behaviour, or workplace conflict.
Other types of common workplace interactions, such as expressing differences of opinion or offering constructive feedback, guidance or advice about academic or work-related performance or behaviour, do not constitute bullying and harassment, if they are undertaken in an appropriate and reasonable manner.
Bullying and harassment should also not be confused with exercising managerial or supervisory authority. It is important to distinguish between a person who is reasonably exercising legitimate authority in the workplace or in the learning or research environment in an appropriate way, and a person who is bullying and harassing others. Examples of reasonable managerial or supervisory action might include decisions relating to the following:
- job duties or work to be performed
- academic assignments to be performed
- workloads and deadlines
- layoffs, transfers, promotions, and reorganizations
- work instructions, supervision, or feedback
- work evaluation
- academic instructions and evaluation
- performance management
- discipline, suspensions, or terminations
When provided in a respectful manner, appropriate feedback to help employees or students improve performance or behaviour is not bullying and harassment.
The Bullying and Harassment Policy does not prevent the legitimate exercise of Academic Freedom. These activities do not in and of themselves constitute bullying and harassment under the Bullying and Harassment Policy, but members of the University Community exercising their Academic Freedom may not engage in any act that would breach the Bullying and Harassment Policy.
Cyberbullying is covered under this policy when:
- the incident(s) occurred on University property; at a meeting/during an event or activity sponsored by the University; or using University technology
- the Respondent was in a position of power over the Complainant’s academic or employment status at the time of the incident.
Where cyberbullying is alleged to have occurred between University members outside of the circumstances described above, the University will provide support to the person who experienced the mistreatment, such as by advising that person of other processes that may be available to them, but it is outside the scope of this policy for the University to participate in a formal process to resolve those incidents.