Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

When to Use

Workplace bullying and harassment can have a detrimental effect on the workplace as such conduct cause a loss in employee productivity, increase the likelihood of lawsuits, undermine employee morale, cause workplace violence and hostility as well as a lack of trust in the employer, supervisors and co-workers.

Bullying can increase the employer's health care costs as well as workers' compensation claims.

To avoid such claims, employers should be proactive and enact and implement workplace policies and procedures to combat bullying and harassment and create a more tolerant workplace.

A bullying policy will put employees on notice that bullying, abusive and offensive conduct is not permitted and will have serious consequences.

Such a policy should specifically detail what type of conduct is prohibited and provide clear examples.

It should also specify a clear reporting procedure and that the employer will promptly respond to any complaints.

Below is a model policy that should be further tailored to fit the employer's specific needs