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Administration Policy and Procedure

41.135:  Workplace Violence

Status:Re-formatted March 6, 2015
Approved on February 11, 2013
Signatures and dates
on archival copy
Effective:when approved 
Initiated by:Linda L. Lonsinger
Chief Human Resource Officer
Endorsed by:Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost
Approved by:Roderick J. McDavis

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A.   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.

B.   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 his or her official capacity for Ohio university.

On duty - an employee's regularly scheduled hours or while acting in his or her 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.

C.   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.

D.   Reporting acts or threats of violence

  1. An employee who: is the victim of violence in the workplace; or believes he or she has 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 his or her 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.

E.   Cooperation with investigation

The complainant has the burden to prove a violation of workplace policy. He or she must 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.


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. Classified Senate

  6. Deans

  7. Chairs and Directors

Forms, References, and History

1.   Forms

The following forms are specific to this policy:

  1. The Complaint Alleging Workplace Violence Form is available from University Human Resources and online, linked from https://www.ohio.edu/hr/forms.cfm.

2.   References

The following items are relevant to this policy:

  1. The Workplace Violence Guidelines document is available from University Human Resources and online, linked from https://www.ohio.edu/hr/policies/.

  2. Faculty Handbook, Section II.G, "Faculty Grievance Committee."

  3. Policy 03.004, "Sexual Misconduct."

  4. Policy 03.006, "Whistle-blowing and Retaliation."

  5. Policy 40.001, "Equal Employment and Educational Opportunity."

  6. Policy 40.043, "Problem-Solving Procedure for Classified Employees."

  7. Policy 41.011, "Grievance Procedure for Administrative Presidential Appointees."

  8. Policy 41.130, "Employee Assistance Program."

  9. Policy 41.133, "Alcohol and Other Drugs."

3.   History

Draft versions of this policy that were circulated for review, their cover memos, their forms, and Reviewers' comments on them are available on the password-protected Review site, at https://www.ohio.edu/policy2/41-135/.

Prior versions of this policy were approved on:

  1. February 4, 2008

  2. April 16, 2002

  3. December 1, 2000

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Dick Piccard revised this page
on June 20, 2016.

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