Workplace Violence And Bullying Policy

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I. Policy Statement

The safety and security of University personnel, students, and visitors is of vital importance. Threats, threatening behavior, acts of violence, or bullying behaviors 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.

II. 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.
  • Bullying. Bullying means repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors likely to intimidate or to intentionally hurt, humiliate, undermine, control, or diminish another person (physically or mentally). Bullying does not include speech protected by the First Amendment. Bullying may, but does not always, include an abuse or misuse of power. Some examples of bullying include:
    • Spreading false and malicious rumors, gossip, or innuendo;
    • Systematically excluding or isolating an individual;
    • Undermining or impeding another person’s work or educational endeavors;
    • Repeatedly stealing or taking credit for work done by others;
    • Belittling a person’s opinion (more than disagreeing with an opinion);
    • Screaming or yelling at an individual for the purpose of harming, undermining, or intimidating that individual.

Bullying does not include expressing differences of opinion, offering feedback, guidance, direction, instruction, or advice about work-related issues or behaviors; reasonable actions taken by a supervisor relating to the management of an unit or office; reasonable action taken to manage an employee’s performance, initiating corrective actions and/or disciplinary actions or other similar and appropriate work or educational actions or interactions

III. 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.

IV. Prohibited Conduct

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, acts of violence, and bullying against any individual(s) on SIUC property will not be tolerated. Persons who violate this Policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination from employment or suspension or expulsion from the University pursuant to the applicable University, Civil Service laws and regulations, collective bargaining procedures, policy, or Student Conduct Code. Any individual engaging in prohibited conduct under this policy may also subject to other legal actions.

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 firearms or weapons[1] on University property except as permitted by the university’s Firearms Policy[2].
  4. Bullying, intimidating conduct, or harassment that disrupts the work or educational environment or results in fear for personal safety. Bullying and inappropriate and threatening behavior(s) include, but are not limited to the following:
    1. Unwelcome name-calling, 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 or malicious manner. Examples of this prohibited conduct include hitting, slapping, poking, kicking, pinching, grabbing, spitting, or pushing.
    4. Physically intimidating others, including but not limited to acts such as using obscene gestures, “getting in someone’s face,” or shaking your fist at someone.

V. Procedures

  1. Actual or Potential Imminent Danger. An individual witnessing or experiencing bullying, threats (direct or implied), threatening behavior, or acts of violence against faculty, staff, students, visitors, or other individuals covered by this policy should immediately report the conduct to the Department of Public Safety via  911 (or 453-3771) if there appears to be imminent danger to persons or property.
  2. Reports and Response. Reports of threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence on campus or against faculty, staff, students, visitors, or other individuals should be reported to the Department of Public Safety. For reports of bullying that do not include threats or threatening behavior, they should be reported to the responsible supervisor and/or the Office of Labor and Employee Relations for employees and/or to Student Rights and Responsibilities for students.
  3. Responsible Supervisor. A responsible supervisor who becomes aware of bullying, threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence against faculty, staff, students, visitors, or other individuals covered by this policy will take the following action in addition to any immediate reporting required above:.
    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).
    2. Promptly develop and implement a plan of action in coordination with the appropriate offices, which may include obtaining witness statements or other documentation or evidence.
  4. Notification. The Director of Public Safety (or designee) will notify the responsible supervisor(s), Student Affairs office, and/or Vice Chancellor when any such call is reported.

VI. Implementation

  1. Responsibility for implementation. University offices and officials with primary responsibility to implement this policy include:
    1. Administration and Finance
    2. Student Affairs
    3. Department of Public Safety
    4. Student Rights and Responsibilities; and
    5. Labor and Employee Relations.

    The General Counsel’s Office and Risk Management Department may be resources for implementation.

  2. Threat Assessment Team. To supplement and enhance the services of these University offices, the Campus Threat Assessment Team (“CTAT”) was formed. The CTAT is chaired by the Director of Public Safety and/or designee and includes representatives from the offices of Labor and Employee Relations, Public Safety, Student Affairs, University Counseling and Psychological Services, General Counsel, and other units will respond to reported acts of violence or threats, as deemed necessary by the chair. CTAT is to assess and implement appropriate preventative measures regarding potential threats of danger to the campus community. (NOTE: CTAT is not intended to address workplace issues that should be handled with appropriate procedures at the employing unit, nor will CTAT interfere with or supersede the judicial process as outlined within the Student Conduct Code.
  3. Training. As necessary and appropriate, 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.
  4. Distribution of the Policy. This policy will be posted on the University website 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 link.

1 Section 21-6 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 prohibits possession of weapons on University property. Weapons are defined 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. The possession of firearms on University property shall be governed by the SIUC Firearms Policy.

2 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.