Promoting the Respectful Workplace Policy

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Approved By:
Effective Date:
Revised Date:
Human Resources
Policy Owner:
Human Resources and Payroll Services
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The State University of New York at Geneseo (the College) recognizes that productivity, well-being, and job satisfaction are contingent on the workplace environment. Through mutual respect, open communication, cooperation and support the College strives to foster a safe, respectful workplace to promote the highest quality performance out of all members. This policy extends to management, employees, direct reports, students, and visitors. The policy also extends beyond the place of work to locations where employees are representing the College and/or performing their work-related duties and responsibilities.

Policy Statement

The State University of New York at Geneseo (the College) is committed to creating and maintaining a positive work and learning environment built on mutual respect. While it is understood that disagreement will occur in a collegiate setting, open communication, mutual respect for diverse opinions, freedom of expression, and a climate of civility are important principles that we embrace. The college recognizes that employees bring individual differences and approaches to the workplace based on gender identity and expression, ethnicity, race, culture, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, and other factors which create an enriched workplace wherein pluralism is a top priority.



  1. All employees, vendors, guests and visitors to the College have the responsibility to behave in a respectful and civil manner. Geneseo employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and are entitled to a work environment free from intolerance, harassment, or bullying behaviors. The College will review, investigate and respond to reports of workplace bullying or other forms of grievous behavior. Employees found in violation of the provisions of the policy shall be subject to discipline up to termination of their employment, consistent with the terms and conditions of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, if any.
  2. Further, retaliatory action against anyone who has, in good faith, reported incidents of bullying or uncivil behavior, or who has been involved in reporting, investigating, or responding to alleged bullying behavior, is a violation of this policy. Those found responsible for any retaliatory action will be subject to progressive discipline, up to and including termination, consistent with the terms and conditions of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, up to and including termination, consistent with the terms and conditions of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement, if any.

Management Responsibility 

Management and others in positions of authority and workplace representatives have a particular responsibility to ensure a healthy workplace environment and to address complaints expeditiously. Management will:

  1. Provide good examples by treating all with courtesy and respect
  2. Promote awareness of the policy and complaint procedures
  3. Be vigilant for signs of inappropriate behaviors at work through observation and information seeking, and take action to resolve the behavior before it escalates
  4. Deal sensitively with employees involved in a complaint, whether as complainant or alleged aggressor
  5. Explain the procedures to be followed if a complaint of inappropriate behavior at work is made
  6. Ensure that an employee making a complaint is not victimized for doing so, and seek resolution of such behavior if it occurs
  7. Monitor and follow up on the situation after a complaint is made so as to prevent recurrence of the behavior.

Employee Responsibility 

All members of the College can contribute to a healthy workplace environment by modeling respectful behavior, speaking out against and reporting bullying behavior, participating in training, and cooperating with preventative measures.

Training Programs 

As part of its commitment to encouraging positive and healthy behaviors, the College has established training programs for all employees and managers. Training is included as part of the new hire orientation, and thereafter scheduled on a regular basis for employee and management participation. Training will identify factors which contribute to a bully-free environment, familiarize participants with responsibilities under this policy, and provide steps for overcoming a bullying incident, including filing an adequate and informed report to the appropriate party.

Complaint Process 

The aim and objectives of a formal complaint process include an investigation of allegations of negative, aggressive, and inappropriate behaviors, written documentation from all parties involved, and resolution in a timely manner.

  1. Any employee or manager seeking to file a complaint should take special care to ensure the complaint is confined to and consists of precise details of each incident of negative, aggressive, and alleged inappropriate behaviors, including dates, times, locations and any witnesses.
  2. Complaints alleging bullying or uncivil behavior should be reported to the victim’s immediate supervisor. Supervisors must consult with Human Resources and provide a response and/or update to the complainant within 14 calendar days. If the alleged bullying behavior is from the immediate supervisor, the complaint should be reported to the supervisor’s supervisor or directly to the Human Resources Office.
  3. Multi-employee complaints within a department or division of the College may be brought directly to AVP for Human Resources.

Frequency of Review and Update

Not included in policy

Periodic Review Completed:  


Signed By  
Julie Briggs

Julie Briggs
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

Date of Approval