Workplace Violence Policy

UMW Policy statement

The University of Mary Washington is committed to maintaining a workplace free from threats and acts of intimidation and violence. All reported incidents will be properly investigated.

What Constitutes Workplace Violence?

Workplace Violence can be defined as actions or words that endanger or harm another employee or result in other employees having a reasonable belief that they are in danger. Such actions include:

  • Injuring another person physically;
  • Behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury in another;
  • Possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon that is not required for work while on state
    premises or doing state business;
  • Intentionally damaging property;
  • Threatening to injure an individual or to damage property;
  • Verbal and non-verbal threatening, bullying, or intimidating in person, through electronic communication or by phone;
  • Committing injurious acts motivated by or related to domestic violence or sexual harassment;
  • Retaliating against any employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of this policy; and
  • Behavior that subjects another individual to extreme emotional distress.

What Are Some Ways to Protect the Workplace from Violence?

  • Lock certain doors;
  • Limit office access;
  • Designate an unobstructed secondary exit, whenever possible;
  • Establish a “code word” or other signal to convey the need to summon Campus Police
    for help;
  • Avoid leaving keys or purses lying about in the office;
  • Notify police if you notice suspicious persons or vehicles, especially after normal working hours;
  • Post emergency numbers at every phone;
  • Keep potential weapons of opportunity (scissors, paperweights, letter openers) out of casual reach of customers;
  • Know and watch out for your co-workers; and
  • Dial Campus Police at 777 in the event of an emergency!!

What Are Some Ways a Supervisor Can Prevent Workplace Violence?

  • To reduce the chances of workplace violence, a supervisor should:
  • Ensure that all employees are aware of the Workplace Violence policy;
  • Inform all employees of emergency procedures;
  • Manage operations and personnel carefully and thoughtfully;
  • Maintain open lines of communication;
  • Be alert to dramatic changes in an employee’s behavior;
  • Respond to all complaints of workplace violence;
  • Make proper referrals to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by contacting the Office of Human Resources for assistance.
  • Take threats of violence very seriously and dial 777 or 4444in case of an emergency.

What to Do When Confronted With an Immediate Threat:

  • Take immediate actions to ensure safety;
  • Call Campus Police at 777 or 4444; and
  • Follow up with the Office Human Resources.

Policy Violations

  • In cases where you feel that the Workplace Violence Policy has been violated you can notify:
  • An immediate supervisor;
  • The Office of Human Resources.

The Office of Human Resources will manage reports of workplace violence in a manner that protects the safety and anonymity of anyone who comes forward. Acts of violence and retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, based on the situation. Acts of violence occurring outside the workplace also may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. In these situations, the agency must demonstrate that the violent conduct committed has an adverse impact on the employee’s ability to perform his or her assigned duties and responsibilities or that it undermines the effectiveness of the agency’s activities.

State Workplace Violence Policy