Second Systemwide Review: Presidential Policy on Abusive Conduct in the Workplace

May 6, 2022
Ian Harazduk
Compliance Analyst & Privacy Officer
Chief Compliance Office
May 6, 2022

The University of California Office of the President invites comments on the proposed Presidential Policy on Abusive Conduct in the Workplace. The proposed policy covers abusive conduct and retaliation in the workplace. The proposed policy is going through a second systemwide review. The proposed Presidential Policy is responsive to a request from the Regents and the Academic Senate for a systemwide policy that addresses the University’s responsibilities and procedures related to abusive conduct. The first systemwide review occurred from October 2021 to February 2022. Substantive feedback related to the proposed policy was submitted during the first systemwide review, thus prompting a second systemwide review.

The proposed policy includes the following key provisions: 

•    The proposed policy affirms the University of California’s commitment to promoting and maintaining a healthy working and learning environment in which each individual is treated with respect. 
•    The “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the proposed policy contains examples of what falls under the definition of abusive conduct and conduct that does not generally constitute abusive conduct.
•    The proposed policy prohibits retaliation against any person who, in good faith, reports abusive conduct, assists someone with a report of abusive conduct, or participates in an investigation or other process under the policy. 
•    The proposed policy addresses free speech and academic freedom. The proposed policy is intended to protect members of the University community from abusive conduct, not to regulate protected speech. The proposed policy recognizes that freedom of speech and academic freedom are essential to the mission of the University. However, freedom of speech and academic freedom are not limitless and do not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates University policies when interpreted in light of free speech or academic freedom, or that violates federal law or state law. 
•    The proposed policy outlines the consequences of noncompliance, which include remediation, educational efforts, and/or employment consequences including informal counseling, adverse performance evaluations, corrective action/discipline, and termination. 

The draft policy is posted on UCnet. For more information about the policy, please review the Second Systemwide Review Cover Letter, the proposed policy on Abusive Conduct in the Workplace (Clean), and the proposed policy on Abusive Conduct in the Workplace (Redline). Comments from the Academic Senate and campus academic administrators should be submitted to Comments from staff employees should be submitted to no later than June 3, 2022.