Threatening and Violent Behavior in the Workplace

Threatening or Violent Behavior in the Workplace

The College is committed to providing faculty and staff with a safe environment free from threats, intimidation and violence as described in this policy. The College relies on its managers, supervisors and employees to be alert to the existence of threatening or violent behavior by employees or non-employees (vendors, applicants, visitors, spouses, etc.) against self, others, College property, or property on campus belonging to others. The College will take prompt and appropriate action whenever a safety concern arises.

Threatening Behavior

Threatening behavior is defined as an expressed or implied threat to interfere with an individual's health or safety, or with the property of the College, or property on College premises belonging to others, which causes a reasonable apprehension or fear that such harm or injury is about to occur. Examples of threatening behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct or indirect threats of harm or injury
  • Words or gestures which create a reasonable fear of harm or injury
  • Prolonged or frequent shouting which creates a reasonable fear of harm or injury
  • Stalking an individual

Violent Behavior

Violent behavior is defined as the use of physical force or violence to inflict harm to others, to endanger the health or safety of another person or the property of the college or property on college premises belonging to others, or restrict the freedom of action or movement of another person. Examples of violent behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome physical contact
  • Slapping, punching, striking, pushing, or otherwise physically attacking a person
  • Throwing, punching, or otherwise handling objects in an aggressive manner

Reporting Threatening or Violent Behavior

Any employee who experiences, observes, or has knowledge of threatening or violent behavior in the workplace should report the situation as soon as possible.

  • In all cases of an actual or imminent act of violent behavior, call Public Safety immediately at ext. 8333 or, if off campus, 610-328-8333.
  • Report all less urgent cases of threatening or violent behavior to your supervisor or department head and to Human Resources.

Human Resources and Public Safety will coordinate the investigation of all reports of threatening or violent behavior promptly and impartially and as confidentially as possible. All employees are expected to cooperate in any investigation. A timely resolution of each report should be reached and communicated to all parties involved as soon as possible.

The College's standards of conduct prohibit violent and threatening behavior. Should an investigation determine that an employee engaged in such misconduct he/she could be subject to disciplinary action or immediate dismissal. Certain violence-related behavior is prohibited under criminal or civil law. A determination will be made by Human Resources and Public Safety, with legal counsel, whether to refer a case of violent-related misconduct for criminal or civil prosecution.

Any form of retaliation against any person for making a bona fide report concerning threatening or violent behavior in the workplace or non-work-related report is prohibited. Any employee who believes he/she has experienced such retaliation should inform Human Resources, the EO officer or another appropriate College resource person immediately (e.g., vice president of Human Resources or vice president for College and Community Relations).

Reporting Non-Work-Related Violence

Employees who are victims of domestic or other threatening or violent behavior outside the workplace, or who believe they are potential victims of such behavior, and fear it may enter the workplace, are encouraged to report the situation as soon as possible. In all cases of an actual or imminent act of violent behavior, call Public Safety immediately at ext. 8333. The employee should report less urgent cases of threatening or violent behavior to his/her supervisor or department head and to Human Resources.

False Reporting

If, upon investigation, it is determined that a report was falsified or made maliciously, the employee who provided the false information will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Employee Assistance

Those who are or believe they may become a victim of threatening or violent behavior, whether in the workplace or outside the workplace, may also contact Carebridge, the College's Employee Assistance (EAP) and Work-Life Program provider to obtain advice and counsel in dealing with the situation. Carebridge's 24-7 phone line is 1-800-437-0911.

NB: This policy covers all College premises, and College sponsored events as well as off-campus sites should an incident occur that is shown to have an adverse impact on a community member or the College.