What Workplace Bullying Is Not

How workplace bullying differs from performance management

Effective performance management is a process that sets clear expectations and goals, provides the resources needed to meet them, monitors progress, and offers constructive feedback.

Workplace bullying may include tactics that turn effective performance management upside down – such as being unclear about (or frequently shifting) goals, denying access to resources, ignoring or over-monitoring progress, and giving feedback in an insincere or disrespectful manner.

How workplace bullying differs from harassment/discrimination

Harassment is a type of illegal discrimination and is defined as offensive and unwelcome conduct, serious enough to adversely affect the terms and conditions of a person’s employment, which occurs because of the person’s protected class. Protected classes, under UCSC policy, include race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), genetic information (including family medical history), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or services in the uniformed services as defined by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994.

Workplace bullying frequently occurs without consideration or awareness of the target’s membership in a protected class.

(For more information about sexual harassment, please visit the Title IX Office website. For more information on discrimination, please visit the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.)

How workplace bullying differs from retaliation

Retaliation  occurs after a person makes a formal complaint of discrimination or harassment, or a complaint under UCSC’s Whistleblower policy, and is then subjected to threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment because he or she made the complaint.

Workplace bullying often occurs independent of any formal complaint or apparent provocation on the target’s part.