Harassment & Bullying

Disclosing a Concern about Harassment or Bullying

The university’s Discrimination, Harassment and Duty to Accommodate Policy prohibits bullying and harassment.  

For more information or to make a disclosure contact OSDHR by email at osdhr@ualberta.ca or telephone at 780.492.7325.  Alternatively, you can file an online report using the online reporting tool

The Quick Links on the right-hand side of this page provide details on our process for responding to disclosures and complaints. 

Being Mistreated or Harassed

Harassment is defined as a conduct or comment, either one-time or repeated that:

  • Is demeaning, intimidating, threatening, or abusive;

  • Is not trivial or fleeting in nature;

  • Causes offence and should have reasonably been expected to offend;

  • Serves no legitimate purpose for the work, study or living environment;

  • Undermines authority or respect in the work, study or living environment, impairs work or learning performance, limits opportunities for advancement or the pursuit of education or research, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual attention or communication that is offensive, intimidating, or humiliating, whether in verbal, written, or visual form. The Alberta Human Rights Commission defines sexual harassment as “any unwelcome behaviour, sexual in nature that adversely affects, or threatens to affect, directly or indirectly, a person’s job [or academic] security, working conditions or prospects for promotion, advancement or earnings; or prevents a person from getting a job, living accommodations or any other kind of public service” (Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission (1997) Sexual Harassment Information Sheet). Offensive and demeaning behaviours do not have to be tangibly detrimental (i.e., wage loss, passed promotions, etc) to be considered sexual harassment. 

Being Bullied

Bullying is defined as a form of harassment, which may include physical, verbal or emotional abuse. It poisons the work, study and living environment of the person it targets.   It can include persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior, abuse of power and/or unfair sanctions that make an individual feel threatened, humiliated or vulnerable. Bullying often comes with quite a hefty price tag. Bullying in the work or study environment can lead to increases in stress levels, sick time and absenteeism, while decreasing productivity and potentially causing untold misery for workers or students. The good news is that bullying is preventable. If it is already in progress, bullying can be stopped. It's important to know what bullying is not. It's different from receiving feedback, guidance, or being disciplined from a manager/supervisor.