Psychological harassment


Psychological harassment (or mobbing) is defined as a series of hostile comments or actions, repeated frequently over a fairly long time, which aim to upset, isolate, marginalise or even exclude one or more people in the place where they work or study.


Psychological harassment is not tolerated at the University of Lausanne under any circumstances.


Examples of psychological harassment


  • Repeated and unjustified criticisms and denigration
  • Ridicule and humiliation
  • Refusal to engage, resulting in isolation
  • Unwanted contact and communications, where you study or elsewhere
  • Breaches of privacy
  • Assigning tasks that are far below someone’s skills, or obviously too complex


What is not psychological harassment

  • A one-off instance of aggression or conflict
  • Normal study-related requirements
  • Stress, which may be an indicator of harassment but is not evidence

Cyber-bullying involves repeatedly making threatening, hateful, insulting or degrading comments – either by using images or in writing – using communications technologies (social media, forums, text messages, chats or emails), with the aim of hurting, threatening, humiliating, ridiculing or excluding someone.


Cyber-bullying can be a form of psychological harassment or, if there are sexual connotations, sexual harassment.


Examples of cyber-bullying

  • Insults
  • Threats
  • Sexist, racist, homophobic or similar remarks or jokes
  • Spreading false rumours
  • Distributing hurtful, fake or naked photos or videos
  • Creating fake profiles with hurtful content

For people under a contract, acts classed as proven psychological harassment can result in sanctions imposed by the Rectorate, ranging from a warning to termination of the working relationship.


The sanctions that can be imposed by the Disciplinary Council against a student or someone who has listener-only status are governed by the University of Lausanne Act (art. 77), which provides for a warning, suspension and exclusion.

Legal bases
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