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Presidential Policy on Abusive Conduct in the Workplace

An updated Presidential Policy on Abusive Conduct in the Workplace (PDF) has been issued by the UC Office of the President effective January 1, 2023.

The Policy prohibits abusive conduct and retaliation by and against members of the University community in the workplace. It applies to all University employees (including student employees), unpaid interns, and third parties. The Policy also prohibits retaliation against any person who, in good faith, reports abusive conduct, assists someone with a report of abusive conduct, or participates in an investigation or other process under the Policy.

Following are key provisions of the Policy:


Definition of Abusive Conduct: Abusive Conduct is harassing or threatening behavior that is sufficiently severe or persistent; or pervasive conduct in the workplace that denies, adversely limits, or interferes with a person’s participation in or benefit from the education, employment, or other programs or activities of the University. The conduct creates an environment, whether intended or not, that a reasonable person would find to be intimidating or offensive and unrelated to the University’s legitimate educational, employment, and business interests.


Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and the Role of the Academic Senate: The Policy is intended to protect members of the University community from abusive conduct, and not to regulate protected speech. The Policy recognizes that freedom of speech and academic freedom are not limitless and, for example, do not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

Campus procedures, including a complaint form, are in development. In the meantime, complaints regarding abusive conduct may be reported to the following offices:

As President Drake emphasized in issuing the policy, our commitment to preventing abusive conduct in the workplace is essential to the mission and future success of the University of California.