DAR File No. 39323

This rule was published in the May 15, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 10) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Human Resource Management, Administration

Rule R477-16

Abusive Conduct Prevention

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 39323
Filed: 04/30/2015 10:26:36 AM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

H.B. 216 of the 2015 General Session modifies the Personnel Management Act to address workplace abusive conduct. The proposed new rule reflects the new statutory mandates.

Summary of the rule or change:

This creates Rule R477-16 for Abusive Conduct Prevention, which includes the basic policy, complaint, and investigative procedures and mandatory training as outlined in H.B. 216 (2015).

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 67-19-44
  • Section 67-19-6

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

Fiscal note to H.B. 216 says: "Enactment of this bill may cost the Department of Human Resource Management Internal Service Fund $48,000 one-time from dedicated credits in FY 2015 to develop statewide training." The fiscal note also forecasts $7,500 annually for ongoing costs.

local governments:

This rule only affects the executive branch of state government and will have no impact on local government.

small businesses:

This rule only affects the executive branch of state government and will have no impact on small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

This rule only affects the executive branch of state government and will have no impact on other persons. This rule has no financial impact on state employees.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

The Department of Human Resource Management has assigned a full-time HR Specialist to ensure compliance of the bill. The annual cost of this full-time position will be approximately $48,000.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

Rules published by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) have no direct effect on businesses or any entity outside state government. DHRM has authority to write rules only to the extent allowed by the Utah Personnel Management Act, Title 67, Chapter 19. This act limits the provisions of career service and these rules to employees of the executive branch of state government. The only possible impact may be a very slight, indirect effect if an agency passes costs or savings on to business through fees. However, it is anticipated that the minimal costs associated with these changes will be absorbed by agency budgets and will have no effect on business.

Debbie Cragun, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Human Resource Management
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84114-1201

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Greg Hargis at the above address, by phone at 801-891-5680, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


Interested persons may attend a public hearing regarding this rule:

  • 06/02/2015 10:00 AM, Senate Building, 420 N State Street, Copper Room, Salt Lake City, UT

This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Debbie Cragun, Executive Director


R477. Human Resource Management, Administration.

R477-16. Abusive Conduct Prevention.

R477-16-1. Policy.

It is the policy of the State of Utah to provide a work environment free from abusive conduct.

(1) Abusive conduct includes physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct, such as derogatory remarks, insults, or epithets made by an employee that a reasonable person would determine:

(a) was intended to cause intimidation, humiliation, or unwarranted distress;

(b) exploits a known physical or psychological disability; or

(c) results in substantial physical or psychological harm.

(2) A single act does not constitute abusive conduct unless it is especially severe and egregious.

(3) Abusive conduct does not include:

(a) appropriate disciplinary or administrative actions;

(b) coaching or work-related feedback;

(c) reasonable work assignments or job reassignments; or

(d) reasonable differences in styles of management, communication, expression or opinion.

(4) An employee may be subject to discipline under this rule even if the conduct occurs outside of scheduled work time or work location.

(5) Once a complaint of abusive conduct has been filed, the accused may not communicate with the complainant regarding allegations in the complaint.


R477-16-2. Complaint Procedure.

Management shall permit employees who allege abusive conduct to file complaints and engage in a review process free from bias, collusion, intimidation or retaliation.

(1) Employees who feel they are being subjected to abusive conduct should do the following:

(a) document the occurrence;

(b) continue to report to work; and

(c) identify a witness(es), if applicable

(2) An employee shall file a written complaint of abusive conduct with their immediate supervisor, any other supervisor in their direct chain of command, or the Department of Human Resource Management, including the agency human resource field office.

(a) Complaints may be submitted by any employee, witness, volunteer or other individual.

(b) Any supervisor who has knowledge of abusive conduct shall take immediate, appropriate action in consultation with DHRM and document the action.


R477-16-3. Investigative Procedure.

(1) When warranted, investigations shall be conducted based on DHRM standards and business practices.

(2) Results of Investigation

(a) If an investigation finds the allegations of abusive conduct to be sustained, agency management shall take appropriate administrative action.

(b) If an investigation reveals evidence of criminal conduct in abusive conduct allegations, the agency head or Executive Director, DHRM, may refer the matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(c) At the conclusion of the investigation, the appropriate parties shall be notified.

(3) Participants in any abusive conduct investigation shall treat all information pertaining to the case as confidential.


R477-16-4. Abusive Conduct Training.

(1) DHRM shall provide employees and supervisors training on the prevention of abusive conduct.

(a) Training shall include information regarding what constitutes abusive conduct, how to prevent it, and options available under rule.

(b) Updated or refresher training will be provided to employees every two years.

(c) Training records shall be maintained, including who provided the training, who attended the training and when they attended it.


KEY: abusive conduct, administrative procedures, hostile work environment

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2015

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 67-19-6; 67-19-44


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2015/b20150515.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Greg Hargis at the above address, by phone at 801-891-5680, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at [email protected].  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.