Defining Bullying and Harassment

At UBC, we strive to provide a safe, respectful and productive work environment for our faculty, staff and student employees. Sometimes there is confusion with the word “harassment.” To be clear there are two forms that harassment can take:

  1. Discriminatory harassment
  2. Bullying and harassment which is a workplace health and safety issue

Discriminatory Harassment

This type of human rights harassment is handled at UBC through the Equity and Inclusion Office.

Discriminatory Harassment is defined under Policy SC7 – Discrimination:

“Harassment is comment or conduct that one knows or ought reasonably to know is unwelcome, that creates a negative impact for the recipient, and is related or one or more of the prohibited grounds of discrimination as set out in the BC Human Rights Code.”

For example sex, race, religion, age, disability, etc.

For further information see the following resources:

Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment in the workplace poses a potential risk to the physical and mental health and safety of workers.

Bullying and harassment is defined by WorkSafeBC:

“Bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause the worker to be humiliated or intimidated but, excludes any reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the place of employment.”

The Respectful Environment Statement reflects UBC’s commitment to a climate that respects the dignity of individuals and make it possible for everyone to live, work and study in a positive and supportive environment.

Are You Experiencing Bullying and Harassment?

Bullying and Harassing behaviour may include:

  • Verbal aggression or yelling
  • Humiliating initiation practices (‘hazing’)
  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Calling someone derogatory names
  • Cyberbullying – through email, text, and social networks

It does not include:

  • Expressing differences of opinion
  • Offering constructive feedback, guidance, or advice about work-related behaviour
  • Reasonable action taken by the employer or supervisor, relating to the management and direction of workers, or the place of employment