41.135: Workplace Violence




February 11, 2013

Initiated by:

Linda L. Lonsinger | Chief Human Resource Officer

Endorsed by:

Pam Benoit | Executive Vice President and Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Overview

    Ohio university is committed to the goal of maintaining a safe, violence-free workplace.

    Ohio university will not tolerate threats, violent behavior, of any kind by any Ohio university employee upon any faculty member, staff member, students, or visitors. Ohio university employees are not permitted to commit acts of prohibited behaviors (enumerated in paragraph (C) of this rule) in the workplace at any time whether on or off duty.

  2. Definitions

    Threat - the implication or expression of intent to inflict physical harm or actions that a reasonable person would interpret as endangering physical safety or property.

    Off duty - an Ohio university employee in the workplace when not scheduled to work, and not acting in their official capacity for Ohio university.

    On duty - an employee's regularly scheduled hours or while acting in their official capacity for Ohio university.

    Workplace - any location where Ohio university business is being conducted.

    Workplace violence - behavior in which a faculty member or staff member inflicts or threatens to inflict damage to property, serious harm, injury or death to others at the workplace.

  3. Prohibited behavior

    The legitimate exercise of supervisory authority, including oversight, evaluation, and requiring adherence to standards of performance, shall not be considered a violation of this policy.

    Prohibited behavior exhibited by an employee in the workplace includes the following:

    1. Direct threats of violence.

    2. Implied threats of violence.

    3. Stalking.

    4. Possession of weapons of any kind unless such possession or use is a requirement of the job.

    5. Assault on employees or their families.

    6. Physical restraint or confinement.

    7. Dangerous or threatening horseplay.

    8. Intentional or reckless disregard for the safety or well-being of others.

    9. Commission of a violent felony or misdemeanor on Ohio university property.

    10. Any other act that a reasonable person would perceive as a threat of violence.

  4. Reporting acts or threats of violence

    1. An employee who: is the victim of violence in the workplace; or believes they have been threatened with violence in the workplace; or witnesses an act or threat of violence in the workplace; shall take the following steps:

      1. If the situation is one of immediate danger, the employee shall contact Ohio university police department ("OUPD"), or local law enforcement if on a regional campus, by dialing 9-1-1, and may take whatever emergency steps are available and appropriate to protect himself, herself, or others from immediate harm. A report should then be placed with university human resources.

      2. If the situation is not one of immediate danger, the employee shall report the incident to the appropriate supervisor and to university human resources as soon as possible and complete the complaint alleging workplace violence form. Moreover, a police report should be filed with OUPD at (740) 593-1911 (or local law enforcement if on a regional campus).

    2. If an employee who is concerned about a potential act of violence files a request for a civil protection order against an individual, and that individual would be in violation of the order by coming near the employee at work, then the employee should promptly consult the workplace violence guidelines, which encourage the employee to inform their supervisor. In that event, the supervisor shall promptly inform OUPD, the department director, and the chief human resource officer or designee, in conformance with the guidelines.

  5. Cooperation with investigation

    The complainant has the burden to prove a violation of workplace policy. They must actively provide information that will support their 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.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Executive Director for Institutional Equity

  2. Ohio University Chief of Police

  3. Faculty Senate

  4. Administrative Senate

  5. Deans

  6. Chairs and Directors