- Employee - any person who is employed by Ohio University
Workplace - any location where Ohio University business is being conducted
On duty - an employee's regularly scheduled hours or while acting in his or her official capacity for Ohio University
Off duty - an Ohio University employee in the workplace when not scheduled to work, and not acting in his or her official capacity for Ohio University
- Ohio University is committed to the goal of maintaining a safe, violence-free workplace.
Ohio University strongly disapproves of, and will not tolerate, threats, violent behavior, or acts of intimidation or harassment of any kind by any Ohio University employee upon any faculty, staff, students, or visitors. Ohio University employees are not permitted to commit acts of inappropriate behavior in the workplace at any time whether on or off duty.
III. Examples of Unacceptable Behavior
- Examples of unacceptable behavior include the following:
- Threatening telephone calls or written messages.
- Vandalism of personal or University property.
- Following or stalking faculty, staff, students, or visitors.
- Assaults on employees or their families.
- Direct or implied threats of retaliation toward an employee.
- Harassment in any form, verbal, written, or by gesture.
- Pushing, fighting, shoving, or horseplay.
- In an intimidating manner, carrying, showing, or displaying unauthorized dangerous or threatening weapons, including firearms, knives, martial arts devices, spears, swords, bows and arrows or other archery types of devices, sling shots, blow darts, blackjacks, stun guns, tasers, or other kind of submission devices, except as noted in subsection IV, immediately below.
IV. Examples of Acceptable Uses of Weapons
- Examples of acceptable uses of weapons include the following:
- Firearms required for the Office of Campus Safety and police purposes.
- Props used for theatrical or entertainment presentations.
- Military Science training purposes.
- Archive and museum collections and displays.
- Weapons used for decorative purposes (provided they are certified as inoperable and safe for display by Office of Campus Safety).
- Weapons in possession of non-university groups conducting legitimate business on campus and under the approval and supervision of the Office of Campus Safety.
- Martial arts devices (e.g., archery, fencing, target shooting, etc.) used in organized training or competition sponsored by Intercollegiate Athletics or Club Sports.
V. Duty to Report
- It is every employee's responsibility to report all threats, acts of intimidation, harassment, violence (physical or verbal), and any other questionable behavior. Reports may be made to the employee's supervisor, department head, or chair, or to University Human Resources ("UHR"), or the Ohio University Police Department ("OUPD"). However, immediate threats to personal safety or property should be reported directly to the OUPD, then to UHR. If the supervisor or academic administrator is involved in or committed the act in question, then the employee should discuss the situation with UHR. By whatever method they are reported, all reported incidents involving the use of physical violence or threat of violence against any faculty, staff member, student, visitor, or property will be immediately investigated and addressed.
Any member of the University Community who has a question about his or her responsibilities under this policy should call the Office for Institutional Equity or the Office of Legal Affairs.
VI. Cooperation with Investigation
- The complainant has the burden of proof to show violation. He or she is expected to actively provide information that will support his or her complaint in the time and manner deemed necessary and appropriate by the University to conduct the investigation. Failure to cooperate with the investigation process in a timely manner may negate the University's obligation to continue with the investigation.
VII. Confidentiality and Privacy
- The Office for Institutional Equity, the Office of Legal Affairs, or University Human Resources, when conducting an investigation of alleged harassment, including workplace violence, are designated by the Ohio University Board of Trustees with quasi-criminal investigative authority. During the investigation of an applicable complaint, the records generated will be argued to be exempt from disclosure as an exception to the public records law. Once the investigation is complete, the records are open pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 149.43 (A)(1)(h).
Student names are protected at all times from public disclosure, pursuant to the Family Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA), unless waived by the student, or unless another FERPA exception applies. However, names may be released to university employees or agents who need to know the names for the purpose of conducting an investigation.
Medical information, if any, will be protected pursuant to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act whenever appropriate.
VIII. Filing a False Complaint
- Knowingly filing a false workplace violence complaint is prohibited and shall be a violation of this policy and shall constitute misconduct subject to disciplinary action.
- Retaliation against anyone who in good faith brings a complaint alleging a violation of this policy, or who in good faith participates in the investigation of a complaint pursuant to this policy, is prohibited, regardless of the outcome of the complaint. Substantiated retaliation shall constitute misconduct subject to disciplinary action.
- All disciplinary matters arising from complaints alleging violation of this policy by an employee will be handled through Ohio University's usual disciplinary practices, according to the specific employment relationship, and may result in termination of employment by Ohio University, or some lesser penalty.
XI. Employee Indemnification
- At any time, should Ohio University be named a defendant in a law suit alleging workplace violence, the entire record of any complaints and investigation shall be held and managed by the Office of Legal Affairs. Ohio University may request that it be released from indemnifying or defending any employee who is named as a defendant in a workplace violence lawsuit.
Ohio University will indemnify and defend any employee who is named as a defendant in a lawsuit based on his or her action of reporting a complaint under subsection V, above, or based on his or her cooperation with an investigation of such a complaint, under subsection VI, above, unless the Office for Institutional Equity and the Office of Legal Affairs have found that the employee knowingly provided false or misleading information.
XII. Time Limits
- A complaint of workplace violence must be filed no later than 180 days from the date of the last occurrence of the alleged behavior.