NORTHFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION FILE CODE: 4119.3/4219.3
Northfield, New Jersey
The Northfield Board of Education recognizes a healthy workplace environment enables school district administrative and teaching staff members to fully contribute their expertise and skills to their school district responsibilities. A healthy workplace environment can improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and reduce staff turnover while having a positive impact on the school district’s programs provided to pupils in the school district.
A significant characteristic of a healthy workplace environment is that employees interact with each other with dignity and respect regardless of an employee’s work assignment or position in the school district. Repeated malicious conduct of an employee or group of employees directed toward another employee or group of employees in the workplace that a reasonable person would find hostile or offensive is unacceptable and is not conducive to establishing or maintaining a healthy workplace environment. This unacceptable conduct may include, but is not limited to, repeated infliction of verbal abuse such as the use of derogatory remarks; insults; verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act of such conduct shall not constitute the unacceptable conduct prohibited by this policy unless it is especially severe and egregious.
Unacceptable conduct, for the purposes of this policy, is not conduct toward an employee of a protected class or because of the employee’s protected activity. These employees and activities are afforded the legal protections under various Federal and State anti-discrimination laws (Affirmative Action Policy #2224). In addition, unacceptable conduct for the purposes of this policy shall not be confused with conduct of management employees exercising management rights including, but not limited to, assigning tasks, reprimanding, assigning discipline, or directing.
Employees who believe the conduct prohibited by this policy has been directed toward them or to another employee of the school district shall submit a written report to the principal. The principal shall advise the Superintendent of Schools. The written report shall provide specific details supporting the claim including, but not limited to, the specific conduct; the names of witnesses (if any) who may have observed such conduct; dates or times when such conduct occurred; and any other information the person(s) making the report believes will be informative and helpful to an investigation of the allegations. Upon receipt of a report, the principal will conduct an investigation and upon completion of the investigation will inform the person(s) who made the report such an investigation was completed. The amount of investigation information shared with the person(s) making the report will be at the discretion of the principal and may vary depending on whether the conduct reported was directed to the person(s) making the report, confidential personnel matters, and/or other issues as determined by the principal.
If the written investigation report determines conduct prohibited by this policy has taken place, the Superintendent or designee will meet with the offender(s) and the victim(s) to review the investigation results and to implement remedial measures to ensure such conduct does not continue or reoccur. Appropriate disciplinary action may be taken depending on the severity of conduct.
There shall be no reprisals or retaliation against any person(s) who reports conduct prohibited by this policy.
NJSBA Review/Update: August 2011
Adopted: October 24, 2011
Workplace Harassment and Bullying
Legal References: N.J.S.A. 18A:6-10 Dismissal and reduction in compensation of persons under tenure in public school system
N.J.S.A. 18A:11-1 General mandatory powers and duties
N.J.S.A. 18A:27-4 Power of boards of education to make rules governing employment of teacher, etc.,
N.J.S.A. 18A:54-20 Powers of board (county vocational schools)
Hicks v. Pemberton Bd. of Ed., 1975 S.L.D. 332
Quiroli v. Linwood Bd. of Ed., 1974 S.L.D. 1035
Carlstadt Teachers Ass’n v. Carlstadt Bd. of Ed., App. Div., unreported decision (docket no. A-1469-80-T4, decided March 26, 1982), 1982 S.L.D. 1448
Cross References: 2224 Nondiscrimination/Affirmative Action
4117.50 Standards for staff discipline
*4119.21 Conflict of interest
*4119.23 Employee substance abuse
4119.24 Staff/pupil relations
*4138 Nonschool employment
*4138.2 Private tutoring
*6144 Controversial issues
*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.