Workplace Violence Policy

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[The following was approved in 2001 in accordance with provisions set forth by SIU Board of Trustees.]

Policy Statement[1]

The safety and security of University personnel, students, and visitors is of vital importance.Threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence against faculty, staff, students, visitors or other individuals on SIUC property and at University sponsored events will not be tolerated.

It is the policy of the University to provide a safe environment in order to conduct the mission of the University in the most effective manner possible.A safe environment will be attained by: appropriate employee screening, employee education and training, surveillance of the work area, and effective management of situations involving violence or threats of violence on University property.It is the intent of the University through its policy, procedures, and practices to reduce the potential for:

  • Intimidation or threats from occurring.
  • Violent acts being perpetuated.
  • Life threatening situations from developing.

Definitions

  • Threat: Words or actions that create a reasonable perception of intent to physically harm persons or property.
  • Violence: Any act that results in actual harm to a person, property, or which unnecessarily endangers the health, safety, or well being of another person, or destruction of property.

Applicability

This policy applies to all SIUC facilities, property, faculty, staff, students, visitors, and others at the University.It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, and students to familiarize themselves and to comply with this policy and its procedures.

Policy Provisions

A. It is a violation of law to touch another person in an unwelcome manner with the intent to harm, or to threaten to do so.Threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence against faculty, staff, students, visitors, or other individuals on SIUC property will not be tolerated.Individuals may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination from employment or dismissal from the University pursuant to the applicable University, Civil Service or collective bargaining procedures.Any individual engaging in prohibited conduct under this policy is also subject to legal action.

B. SIUC will not tolerate the following conduct or behavior:

1.Threats, direct or implied;

2. Physical conduct that results in harm to people or property;

3. Possession of weapons[2];on University property[3].

4. Intimidating conduct or harassment that disrupts the work or educational environment or results in fear for personal safety.

C. Inappropriate and threatening behavior(s) include, but are not limited to the following:

1.Unwelcome name-calling, obscene language, and other verbally abusive behavior.

2.Throwing objects, regardless of the size or type of the object being thrown or whether a person is the target of a thrown object.

3.Physically touching another person in an intimidating, malicious, or sexually harassing[4];manner.By way of example, this conduct includes acts such as hitting, slapping, poking, kicking, pinching, grabbing, and pushing.

4.Physically intimidating others, including such acts as obscene gestures, “getting in your face” and fist shaking.

V. Procedures

A. An individual witnessing or experiencing threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence against faculty, staff, students, visitors, or other individuals covered by this policy will take the following action if the circumstance(s) does not indicate an imminent danger to persons or damage to property.

1. If you are an employee or student, please report the incident to your immediate supervisor or Department Chair.

2. If you are not an employee, please report the incident to the Department of Public Safety at 453-3771.

If the circumstance(s) indicate(s) imminent danger to persons or damage to property the individual will:

1. Notify the University Police immediately (911 or 453-3771);

2. If you are an employee or student, notify your supervisor or Department Chair in addition to the University Police.

B. A responsible supervisor or Department Chair who becomes aware of threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence against faculty, staff, students, visitors, or other individuals covered by this policy will take the following action if the circumstances do notindicate imminent danger to persons or damage to property.

1. Document the circumstance(s) associated with the event, including a record of information from any individual involved in or witnessing the incident and the supervisor’s assessment of the cause of the circumstance(s).The supervisor will request a written statement from witnesses.

2. If an employee is involved in perpetrating an act of violence or threatening conduct, contact the Office of Labor and Employee Relations to report the incident and to request guidance and assistance.

3. If a student is involved in perpetrating an act of violence or threatening conduct, contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs to report the incident and to request guidance and assistance.

4. If an individual other than an employee or student is involved in perpetrating an act of violence or threatening conduct, contact the Department of Public Safety to report the incident and to request guidance and assistance.

5. Promptly develop and implement a plan of action.

C. If the circumstance(s) indicates imminent danger to persons or damage to property the responsible manager will:

1. Notify University Police immediately (911 or 453-3771);

2. Seek assistance for person(s) needing care.

Document the circumstance(s) associated with the event, including a record of information from any individual involved in or witnessing the incident and the manager’s assessment of the cause of the circumstance(s).The supervisor will request a written statement from witnesses.

4. If an employee is involved in perpetrating an act of violence or threatening conduct, contact the Office of Labor and Employee Relations to report the incident and to request guidance and assistance;

If a student is involved in perpetrating an act of violence or threatening conduct, contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs to report the incident(s) and to request guidance and assistance:

6. If an individual other than an employee or student is involved in perpetrating an act of violence or threatening conduct, contact the Department of Public Safety to report the incident and to request guidance and assistance;

D.The Director of Public Safety (or designee) will notify the

appropriate supervisor, Student Affairs office, department chair, or Vice Chancellor when any such call is reported.

VI.Implementation

A.University offices and officials with primary responsibility to implement this policy include:

1. Executive Director of Finance

2. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

3 .Department of Public Safety

4.Student Judicial Affairs

5. Labor and Employee Relations

6. General Counsel

7. University Risk Management

B.To supplement and enhance the services of these University offices, the Campus Crisis Assessment Team was formed.This Team is chaired by the Director of Public Safety and/or designee and includes representatives from the offices of Labor and Employee Relations, Public Safety, Executive Director of Finance, Student Judicial Affairs, University Counseling Center, General Counsel, University Risk Management, and other units will respond to reported acts of violence or threats, as deemed necessary by the chair.The purpose of the Campus Crisis Assessment Team is to provide thorough communication of incidents involving imminent danger or violence in order to resolve the situation, make appropriate referrals for victims and perpetrators, and make recommendation for further action and prevention.(NOTE:The Team is not intended to address workplace issues that should be handled with appropriate procedures at the employing unit, nor will the Team interfere with or supercede the judicial process as outlined within the Student Conduct Code.

C. The Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Office of Labor and Employee Relations, will make counseling, direction, training, and education regarding violence, threats of violence, and prevention of violence available to managers, employees, and students as appropriate.

D. Copies of this policy will be distributed to employees, posted on employee and student bulletin boards, posted on the University web site, and described in employee and student communications.Supervisors are responsible for informing employees of the policy and plan, and for enforcing compliance.The policy will be discussed at new employee orientation and all new employees will be provided with a copy.Copies of the policy will also be available in the Office of the Executive Director of Executive Director of Finance, Department of Human Resources, Office of Labor and Employee Relations, and the Department of Public Safety.

[1] Adopted by the SIU Board of Trustees on April 13, 2000.

[2] Illinois statute prohibiting possession of weapons on University property defines weapon as: “a handgun, sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, any other firearm small enough to be concealed upon the person, semiautomatic firearm, or machine gun. . .any other rifle, shotgun, spring gun, other firearm, stun gun or taser. . .knife with a blade of at least 3 inches in length, dagger, dirk, switchblade knife, stiletto, ax, hatchet, or other deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument of like character. . .a bludgeon, black-jack, slingshot, sand-bag, sand-club, metal knuckles, billy or other dangerous weapon of like character.”>The University considers souvenirs and weapons that have been rendered permanently inoperative to fall within this law, as well as any bomb, bombshell, grenade, bottle or other container containing an explosive or noxious substance.

[3] It is a violation of Illinois law to possess or store weapons on University property without prior written permission from the Chief Security Officer of the University.

[4] See Sexual Harassment Policy.