99-3 Workplace Violence

1.0  Purpose

1.1     It is the purpose of this University Policy to outline the guidelines for the University in the area of workplace violence.

2.0  Description

Incidents of violence in the American workplace have come under increasing public attention in recent years.  While such incidents have been rare at Wayne State University, the University wishes to do everything possible to anticipate and prevent such problems from arising.  It is the goal of the Wayne State University Workplace Violence Policy to eliminate threats and acts of violence and to communicate the University’s commitment to a policy of “zero tolerance” for threats or acts of violence by anyone on University property or at University-sponsored activities.  Violation of this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in the case of employees, expulsion in the case of students, and/or other appropriate action including denial of access to the University and University resources in the case of others.

Faculty, staff and students are accountable both to civil authorities and to the University for acts which constitute violations of both law and this policy.  In such instances, disciplinary action at the University will normally proceed while civil or criminal charges involving the same incident are pending.  Disciplinary action taken under this policy will not be subject to challenge on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the same incident have been invoked, dismissed, or are pending.

3.0  Policy

3.1     Wayne State University is committed to providing a work and educational environment which is free from threats, assaults or acts of violence.  No person will be allowed to harass or assault any other person by exhibiting violent behavior including, but not limited to, the following:

Verbal Harassment: Verbal threats to engage in violence against persons or property.

Physical Harassment or Assault:  Physical or sexual by any means with or without a weapon, including hitting, pushing, kicking, holding, or unlawfully impeding or blocking the movement of another person, or nonverbal threats of violence against persons or property.

3.2     In support of this policy, the University will not tolerate any threat, direct or implied, or physical harm to persons or property, or which harasses, disrupts or interferes with another’s work performance, or which creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile work or educational environment.

3.3     The University prohibits certain items from being brought onto University property.  Those prohibited items include: all types of firearms, switchblade knives, knives with a blade length of more than 3 inches, explosives and any other object carried for the purpose of injuring or intimidating.

3.4     University personnel are expected to notify appropriate management personnel of any threats of violence which they have witnessed or received.  Personnel should also report any behavior they have witnessed which they regard as threatening or violent, when that behavior is work-related or is carried out on University property or is connected to University employment.

3.5     Any individual who has obtained a personal protection or restraining order which identifies the workplace as being a protected area should provide that information to the Department of Public Safety.

3.6     Disciplinary action for violation of this policy shall be taken pursuant to existing policies and procedures applicable to the individual who has engaged in the alleged violation.  Violation of this policy shall be a separate ground for disciplinary action under such policies and procedures.  In the event of such disciplinary action, violation of this policy shall be deemed to be a major violation, subject to the imposition of any sanction authorized under such policies and procedures, and not requiring that the University engage in progressive discipline prior to the imposition of such sanction.

3.7      Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to preclude disciplinary action for other actions which interfere with the effective functioning of the workplace or which otherwise create an intimidating, offensive or hostile work or educational environment.  

4.0  Procedure

Procedures for implementation of this policy are stipulated in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM).

5.0  Duration

5.1      This University Policy is revocable by the President at any time and without notice.

6.0  Effective Date

This University Policy is effective upon issuance.



Signed by President Irvin D. Reid June 1, 1999.