Abuse of power
in the workplace
This brochure deals with a very sensitive subject – abuse of power in the workplace. We all know that conflicts at work are normal in any situation where differing opinions are held or expressed.
However, the abuse of power is something altogether different: it is a form of behaviour that is damaging to individuals – and therefore to Roche. With this brochure we want to demonstrate that abuse of power in the workplace will not be tolerated at Roche. Every Roche employee should know
what abuse of power in the workplace is
what Roche’s policy is and what is expected of you as an employee where to get help if you are confronted with this issue:
as a victim, as a colleague or as a line manager.
This brochure contains a summary of the key aspects.
For detailed information, see the PS portal at
(see Employee Topics/Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management). We should all be committed to creating added value at Roche Basel/Kaiseraugst, but we can only be successful over the long term if we treat each other with respect in our day‑to-day work. You, too, can make a difference.
Matthias M. Baltisberger
Head of Basel Site
Definition of ‘abuse of power
in the workplace’
What is abuse of power in the workplace?
The term ‘abuse of power in the workplace’ is used at Roche to describe any kind of verbal or physical attack on an employee’s personal dignity. The aim of such behaviour is to make the individual dependent on the harasser and keep him or her under that person’s control. The actions of the harasser are deliberate; in other words, he or she is aware that such behaviour will damage the individual. Sexual harassment and bullying are two specific forms of abuse of power in the workplace.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances and any other conduct of a sexual nature that may be perceived as unwelcome. It is distinct from friendly behaviour and has nothing to do with comradeship, friendship or love.
What is bullying?
Bullying is defined as any kind of negative action or conduct (including verbal conduct) that is systematically and consciously directed against an individual over an extended period of time, thereby characterising the relationship between the harasser and the victim. 8 Harassment, or abuse of power, comes in many forms and may be conducted by one or
more persons, but it always has a key defining feature: it is destructive and damaging to
the victim and his or her environment.
What is Roche’s policy?
Roche does not tolerate any form of abuse of power in the workplace and subscribes to the following basic principles:
Roche Corporate Principles (excerpt)
‘Respect for the individual. We believe that the success of our company depends on the combined talents and performance of dedicated employees.
For this reason, we want:
8 to build respect for the individual into all our work by ensuring that all members of the
organisation understand their responsibility to respect each other’s rights and dignity; 8 our people to develop their talents and make optimal use of their abilities and
potential and to encourage information-sharing and open dialogue; 8 to provide recognition based on performance and contribution to Roche’s success;
to promote diversity and equal opportunities;
8 everyone in the organisation to work under optimal conditions of health and safety.’ Group Employment Policy (excerpt)
‘We believe each employee is entitled to fair, courteous and dignified treatment during the hiring process, while employed and at the end of employment. We do not tolerate any mental, physical or sexual harassment or any other infringement that violates an employee’s right to dignity and respect in the workplace.’ 8 Roche employees have the right to be treated with respect. 8 Roche employees have a duty to treat others with...
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