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Violence in the Work Place

Subject: VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE
Section: HR
Part: Policy
Statement: 27
Effective Date: 3/21/01

PURPOSE

Violence of any sort in contrary to Fayetteville State University's primary objective to provide high quality education.  Violence, threats, intimidation and possession of unauthorized weapon are inconsistent with this objective.  This policy on violence in the workplace is established as anti-violence and violence prevention policy designed to promote civility in the University environment and prohibit violence in the workplace.

It is a violation of this policy for any person to engage in workplace violence as defined below, or to use or possess an unauthorized weapon on campus.

DEFINITIONS

Workplace Violence includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats, physical attack, domestic violence or property damage and included acts of violence committed by State employees, clients, customers, relatives, acquaintances or strangers against State employees in the workplace.   The act in question may rise to the level of a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction, but it need not be a violation of the law to be subject to this policy.  A Threat expresses an intent to cause physical or mental harm.  Such expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the present ability to carry out it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional, or future.  Physical Attack is unwanted or hostile physical contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, shoving, throwing objects, and pointing or brandishing weapons.  Domestic Violence is the use of abusive or violent behavior, including threats and intimidation, between people who have an ongoing or prior intimate relationship.  This could include people who are married, live together or date or who have been married, lived together or dated.  Property Damage is intentional damage to property which includes property owned by the State, employees, visitors, or vendors.  Intimidation includes, but is not limited to, stalking or engaging in actions intended to frighten, coerce or induce duress.

WEAPONS

North Carolina law prohibits the possession of weapons on property owned by or under the control of an educational institution.  The law defines a weapon as a firearm, dynamite cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine, and or other powerful explosive, BB gun, air rifle or air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razor or razor blades (except for personal shaving) or similar objects not used as a tool of the employee's work.

The law does not apply to law enforcement personnel employed by the institution or acting in the discharge or their official duties.  Incidents of the use of excessive force are covered under Public Safety Department Policy.

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to the FSU campus and all FSU worksites located away from the main campus.  It is applicable to all EPA, SPA full-time and part-time employees with either a permanent, probationary, trainee, time-limited or temporary appointment.  All visitors will be expected to maintain behavior that is pleasant and conducive to productivity.  Any SPA employee who engages in workplace violence as previously defined is subject to the Disciplinary Action, Suspension and Dismissal Policy of the State of North Carolina.  EPA employees are considered  "at will" and as such may be discharged for participating in any acts of workplace violence.

REPORTING INCIDENTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

All incidents of workplace violence which constitutes violations of the law shall be reported to the Office of Public Safety without delay.  In addition, the State Personnel Act requires that all incidents of workplace violence, whether or not a violation of law, be reported and documented within one business day of occurrence.

Employees, including students who are working as employees, should report incidents of workplace violence to the Office of Public Safety and to their immediate supervisor.  If the immediate supervisor is the alleged perpetrator, the incident should be reported to the next higher level of supervision. 

The State Personnel Act further requires that every State agency maintain records and supply data on incidents of workplace violence to the Office if State Personnel.  Therefore, when an incident of workplace violence is reported pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the University official receiving the report (Director of Police and Public Safety) will prepare a workplace violence incident report.

Workplace violence report forms are available in the Office of Police and Public Safety.

POTENTIALLY VIOLENT SITUATIONS

Employees who feel threatened on campus by other employees, clients, spouses, family members, acquaintances, or strangers are encouraged to report these situations to their supervisors and the Office of Police and Public Safety.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

In all workplace violence matters where the accused party is an employee of the University, disciplinary action shall be administered within the established disciplinary channels of the University.  Violations of this policy shall subject the offending employee to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

RETALIATION

All members of the campus community who act in good faith by reporting real or implied violent behavior or violations of this policy will not be retaliated against or subjected to harassment by other University employees or officials.

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