Violence in the workplace

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to promote a safe workplace by prohibiting violent actions in the workplace.

The University recognizes that workplace violence is a growing concern among employers and employees across the country. The University is committed to providing a safe, violence-free workplace and strictly prohibits employees, consultants, customers, visitors, or anyone else on University premises or engaging in a University-related activity from behaving in a violent or threatening manner. As part of this Policy, the University seeks to prevent workplace violence before it begins, and reserves the right to deal with behavior that suggests a propensity towards violence even prior to any violent behavior occurring.

The University believes that prevention of workplace violence begins with recognition and awareness of potential early warning signs, and has established procedures within Employee Services for responding to any situation that presents the possibility of violence.

Definitions

Workplace Violence—includes, but is not limited to Threats of any kind; Threatening, physically aggressive, or violent behavior, such as intimidation of, or attempts to instill fear in others; Other behavior that suggests a propensity toward violence, which can include belligerent speech, excessive arguing or swearing, sabotage, or threats of sabotage of University property, or a demonstrated pattern of refusal to follow University policies and procedures; Defacing University property or causing physical damage to the facilities; or With the exception of security personnel, bringing weapons or firearms of any kind on University premises, in University parking lots, or while conducting University business.

Procedures/Guidelines

I. Reporting

If any employee observes or becomes aware of any of the above-listed actions or behavior by an employee, customer, consultant, visitor, or anyone else, he or she must notify Campus Safety and the office of Employee Services immediately. Further, employees should notify Employee Services if any restraining order is in effect, or if a potentially violent non-work related situation exists that could result in violence in the workplace.

II. Investigation

All reports of workplace violence will be taken seriously and will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. In appropriate circumstances, the University will inform the reporting individual of the results of the investigation. To the extent possible, the University will maintain the confidentiality of the reporting employee and of the investigation but may need to disclose results in appropriate circumstances, for example, in order to protect individual safety. The University will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who reports workplace violence.

III. Corrective Action and Discipline

If the University determines that workplace violence has occurred, the University may take appropriate corrective action and may impose discipline on offending employees. The appropriate discipline may depend on the particular facts but may include written or oral warnings, probation, reassignment of responsibilities, suspension, or termination. If the violent behavior is that of a non-employee, the University will take appropriate corrective action in an attempt to ensure that such behavior is not repeated.

Under certain circumstances, the University may forego disciplinary action on the condition that the employee takes a medical leave of absence. In addition, the University may request that the employee participate in counseling, either voluntarily or as a condition of continued employment.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Campus Safety.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018