University of Wisconsin–Madison

HIB Reporting Options

These guidelines describe how to handle HIB reports. They guide anyone who:

  • wants to report HIB, or
  • receives reports of HIB

In this document, the word “reporter” is a person who:

  • believes they have been the victim of HIB, or
  • witnesses HIB and reports it

Our HIB policies give due process (fair treatment) to both:

  • people accused of HIB, and
  • people who are victims of HIB

Policies were adopted to cover:

These policies do not directly cover:

  • Undergraduate or Graduate Students covered by the student code of conduct
  • Post-doctoral Fellows
  • Employees-in-Training

Regardless of employee classification, most of the steps below can guide anyone who has experienced, seen, or participated in HIB.

HIB is behavior that:

  • a reasonable person would feel is hostile or intimidating,
  • doesn’t further the university’s academic or operational interests, and
  • is so severe and/or frequent that it negatively impacts a person’s ability to work.

By themselves, these are not HIB:

  • Critical or negative performance reviews
  • Actions by a supervisor that are within the limits of authority but feel critical or negative

Read a complete definition of HIB

The sooner people address a problem, the more likely they can use an informal option. Experience shows that informal methods are most successful in addressing workplace problems. Less legalistic, less confrontational methods have more positive and satisfying outcomes.

If a behavior is frequent or severe, informal options might not be appropriate.

People who have witnessed HIB can report it to a supervisor or HR representative.

  • Before doing anything, the witness should talk with the person they believe is the target of HIB.
  • The supervisor or HR representative who receives the report should also talk with the target.

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