Anti-Bullying Policy

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The Morton Arboretum is committed to providing all employees with a healthy and safe work environment and to the elimination of all forms of bullying. Bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both an employee’s ability to positively contribute to the organization on a day-to-day basis and the organization’s ability to successfully run its operations. Bullying is unacceptable behavior because it breaches principles of equality and fairness, and frequently represents an abuse of power and authority. Bullying is not tolerated and shall be treated in the same manner as harassment under this policy.

Accordingly, The Morton Arboretum strictly prohibits all acts of bullying, including cyberbullying. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others professionally, and refusal to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of all applicants, employees, volunteers, board members, outside vendors and contractors, or other non-employees (guests) who conduct business with the Arboretum. The Arboretum supports and encourages reporting all incidents of harassment, regardless of who the offender may be.

“Bullying” is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is directed at one or more employees.
  • Interferes with work/prevents work from being accomplished; and
  • Adversely affects the ability of an employee to contribute positively in the workplace by placing the employee in reasonable fear of physical harm and/or by causing emotional distress.

Examples of bullying behavior may include but are not limited to:

  • Spreading malicious rumors, gossip, or innuendos.
  • Excluding or isolating someone socially.
  • Intimidating a person.
  • Undermining or deliberately impeding a person’s work.
  • Physically abusing or threatening abuse.
  • Withholding necessary information or purposefully giving wrong information.
  • Making jokes that are obviously offensive by spoken word or in electronic format.
  • Intruding on a person’s privacy by pestering, spying, or stalking.
  • Yelling or using profanity towards another person.
  • Criticizing a person persistently or constantly.
  • Belittling a person’s opinions.
  • Unwarranted (or undeserved) punishment.
  • Blocking opportunities for training, leave, or promotion; and
  • Tampering with a person’s personal belongings or work equipment.

Bystander support of bullying can encourage further bullying; therefore, The Morton Arboretum prohibits both active and passive support for acts of bullying. Employees are encouraged to intervene or redirect, where appropriate. Bystanders who witness an act of bullying must report such act as indicated above.

An employee who believes that they have experienced or witnessed bullying is encouraged to tell the individual the conduct is inappropriate and to report the incident as soon as possible to their supervisor, program director, vice president, or the director of human resources. A supervisor who receives a report of bullying or becomes aware of such conduct must immediately inform the director of human resources so that a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident can be conducted. Individuals found engaging in bullying will be dealt with appropriately, up to and including termination. The Morton Arboretum prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying.