The Society for Human Resource Management has developed a model procedure for handling bullying complaints. Key language includes:
Individuals who think they’ve been a victim of harassment or intimidation, or have witnessed it, should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, human resources, any member of the personnel practices committee or any ombudsman.
Allegations of bullying will be investigated promptly and may include interviews with the parties involved.
Tyrannical behavior that has been substantiated will result in a response, including training, referral to counseling or disciplinary action, such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay or termination.
If a party to a complaint doesn’t agree with its resolution, he or she may appeal to the company’s CEO or chief operating officer.
False and malicious complaints — as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith — will result in appropriate disciplinary action.
For more on the movement to legislate protective measures against workplace bullying, check back next week for Steven Yoder’s March feature, “This Time, It’s Personal.” Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll email you when it’s available online.
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