HR 6.0 - Workplace Civility and Respect Policy
All employees need to read the College Policy and Procedures for Workplace Civility and Respect to become familiar with their content and to understand their purpose. After reading both documents (below) you will be asked to submit a completion form indicating that you have read and understand them.
Edmonds College is committed to a culture of civility and will establish procedures to facilitate a culture of respect. Maintaining a culture of respect and civility in the workplace is key to a successful work and classroom environment. A culture of civility and respect improves morale and fosters productivity and enhances learning.
On the other hand, disrespect can become a barrier to effective communication, coaching, and productivity and manifests itself in both verbal and non-verbal abuse. In more severe cases, it may result in employee turnover, student withdrawals, reduced morale, diminished loyalty, and physiological impacts such as headaches, depression, and increased absenteeism.
College members will treat all members of the community with honesty, respect and courtesy; each individual shall have regard for the dignity and needs of the people with whom they work and supervise. This applies to all interpersonal interactions, written and verbal communications and in cyberspace and social media networks. The College is committed to expecting respectful and civil behavior from all employees at work and in the classroom; we require each employee to support this commitment.
Managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring the workplace and classroom are free of disrespectful behavior, abusive treatment, and harassment within their respective work areas.
HR 6.01pr - Workplace Civility and Respect: Procedure
Maintaining a culture of respect and civility in the workplace is key to a successful work and classroom environment. A culture of civility and respect improves morale and fosters productivity and enhances learning.
Each member of Edmonds College is expected to treat other community members with civility and respect, recognizing that disagreement and informed debate are valued in an academic community.
Demeaning, intimidating, threatening, bullying, or violent behaviors that affect the ability to learn, work, or live in the college environment depart from the standard for civility and respect. These behaviors have no place in the academic community.
As members of Edmonds College, staff, faculty, and students are expected to interact with each other with respect and consideration. When a college community member’s conduct varies from this expectation, it is the responsibility of the manager, director, department chair, or dean who supervises the person engaging in the inappropriate conduct to address it. Inappropriate conduct covers a broad range of behavior from rude, obnoxious, bullying behavior to threats of violence. The level of danger in the behavior determines the action the supervisor should take. Members of the college community who witness uncivil behavior may report the behavior to a supervisor or college official or submit an incident report via the Edmonds College website.
Disrespect must not be confused with legitimate comments and/or advice (including relevant negative comments and feedback) from or to managers and supervisors on work performance or work-related behavior of an individual or group. Feedback on work performance or work-related behavior differs from harassment in that feedback is intended to assist employees to improve work performance or the standard of their behavior. However, even the most serious criticism or negative feedback should be delivered respectfully, privately, and courteously.
College employees will not engage in behavior which embarrasses, intimidates, or humiliates others–or which a reasonable person would find embarrassing, intimidating, or humiliating. Examples of these behaviors may include but are not limited to:
- Screaming or yelling
- Sarcasm with an apparent intent to humiliate
- Arrogance or condescending behaviors or comments
- Retaliatory actions
- Email or social media comments or behaviors that publicly or privately degrade, intimidate, or humiliate members of the college community
Additionally, visitors, vendors, contractors, and the families of college members are required to display appropriate conduct at all times. Noncompliant behavior may lead to removal from the campus.
As any first step to resolving workplace issues, initial concerns shall be addressed informally and privately between employees one-on-one and/or with the assistance of their supervisor.
The Human Resources Office can provide individuals with advice and strategies to attempt to resolve these informally between or among employees and with their supervisors.
If an employee’s behaviors persist, college employees should initiate complaints formally (in writing) or informally with the appropriate administrator of the employee’s operational unit. Complaints about peers should be presented to the concerned employee’s immediate supervisor. Complaints about managers should be presented to the concerned employee’s operational Vice President.
Copies of any written complaints and responses shall be sent to the Vice President for Human Resources. Initial violations of these procedures will usually result in an informal investigation or inquiry; any issues may be managed through an employee’s performance evaluation process before any discipline will be considered. However, severe or multiple violations of these procedures may result in the application of progressive discipline in an effort to correct the behavior.
For additional guidance on identifying potential threatening or violent behavior and for the best ways to deal with these incidents, contact Human Resources (for employees) or the Student Conduct Officer (for students), or Campus Safety and Security (for visitors).
A member of the the college community who displays inappropriate conduct is subject to disciplinary action. The college may impose sanctions on students and employees who violate the Workplace Civility and Respect Policy, consistent with appropriate college policies and collective bargaining agreements.
Exempt employee – after an investigation, the college will determine whether disciplinary action needs to be taken with the employee; based on the severity of the behavior, an oral warning up to possible termination may be taken with the employee.
Classified employee – the collective bargaining agreement will be followed.
Faculty member – the collective bargaining agreement will be followed.
Student – the Student Code of Conduct will be followed.
Uncivil Conduct: conducting oneself in a discourteous or disrespectful manner when communicating or interacting with others. Uncivil conduct includes, but is not limited to, behaviors such as: directing vulgar, obscene or profane gestures or words at another individual; taunting, jeering, inciting others to taunt or jeer at an individual; interrupting another individual repeatedly or raising one’s voice in anger at another person; imposing personal demands at times or in settings where they conflict with assigned duties and cannot reasonably be met; using derogatory epithets; gesturing in a manner that puts another in fear for his/her personal safety; invading the personal space of an individual after being directed to move away, physically blocking an individual’s exit from a room or location, remaining in a classroom or school area after a teacher or administrator in authority has directed one to leave; violating the privacy of another individual’s belongings (except for lawful searches by school officials conducted in connection with the administration of school rules and applicable laws); or other similar disruptive conduct. Uncivil conduct applies to, and can occur in, interpersonal, written, verbal and cyber communications.
Uncivil conduct does not include the expression of controversial or differing viewpoints that may be offensive to some persons, so long as:
- the ideas are presented in a respectful manner and at a time and place that are appropriate, and
- such expression does not materially disrupt, and may not be reasonably anticipated to disrupt, the educational process.