Unreasonable and inappropriate treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, including behavior that could be expected to intimidate, offend, degrade, humiliate, undermine, exclude, or threaten the target.


  • may be perpetrated by any individual or group in the workplace (a work colleague, supervisor, more senior manager, or a person who reports to the individual)
  • is equally likely to be from a male or female
  • may be overt or covert, and may be conducted in person or through electronic communications

Below are some examples of bullying. While any one of these actions individually may not constitute bullying, they may qualify when taken in context of a whole situation.

  • Making insulting or humiliating comments about the performance of an employee, in public, private, or in any inappropriate manner or venue, such as via email
  • Deliberate exclusion, isolation, or alienation of an employee from normal work interaction (i.e. intentionally excluding employee from meetings)
  • Discounting the accomplishments of employees or stealing credit for their success or accomplishments
  • Undermining employees, including encouraging others to gang up on them
  • Deliberately withholding information that employees need to exercise their role or access to benefits, training, or entitlements at the University
  • Unreasonably refusing an employee’s request to take personal leave
  • Excessive and unfounded monitoring
  • Setting unachievable and unrealistic work expectations
  • Shouting at an employee, publicly or privately


Allegation(s), made in good faith, of disrespectful behavior in the workplace.


Anyone employed by the University of Virginia’s Academic Division, College at Wise, or Medical Center, including temporary employees, student employees, contract vendors, and employees of contract vendors.


Any adverse action affecting an employee’s employment or other rights made because an employee has in good faith

  • made an allegation concerning a violation of University policy, rule or regulation, or a violation of state or federal law
  • has participated with an investigation of such allegation

Retaliation can manifest itself as bullying or as any of the other disrespectful behaviors that are identified in these guidelines. Retaliation can also include

  • unfounded civil or criminal charges that are likely to deter reasonable people from pursuing their rights
  • employment actions such as termination and denial of promotion
  • other actions affecting employment, such as threats, unjustified negative evaluations, or increased surveillance
  • actions designed to interfere with the individual’s prospects for employment, such as giving an unjustified negative job reference, refusing to provide a job reference, and/or informing an individual’s prospective employer about the individual’s protected activity


Any location where University of Virginia employees perform job-related functions.