Workplace Violence Policy

Workplace Violence Policy


Office of Administration


Director of Safety and Security


Safety and Security



Effective Date:


Implementation History:



Workplace Violence

Background Information:


To establish campus policy for workplace violence and related issues.



  1. The college is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees and students. The college responds promptly to threats, acts of violence, and acts of aggression by employees or against employees by coworkers, students, members of the public or others. This document sets forth standards for employee conduct, guidelines for reasonable precautions, and outlines appropriate responses to violent acts or threats of violence should they occur in the workplace. This policy is in accordance with federal and state laws regarding workplace safety.
  2. Any employee, student or visitor who makes threats of violence, implied or direct, on college property or any college location may be subject to removal from the premises.
    1. Prohibited Conduct
      1. The college will address any threat or actual act of violence made in the workplace, on college property, or while an employee or student is engaged in a college sponsored activity1. This includes situations occurring outside a college location or college-sponsored event that may negatively affect the work environment and will be addressed.
      2. Workplace violence involves physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in a work setting, such conduct includes:
        1. the use of force with the intent to cause harm (e.g. physical attacks, any unwanted contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, or throwing objects)
        2. acts or threats that are intended to intimidate, harass, threaten, coerce or cause fear of harm whether directly or indirectly
        3. acts or threats made directly or indirectly by oral or written words, gestures or symbols that communicate a direct or indirect threat of physical or mental harm
      3. Targeting victims with the intent to cause harm intentionally because of actual or perceived race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability will be considered hate or bias crimes. 2
      4. Empire State College prohibits any person from possessing firearms at any college facility or college-sponsored event without the written authorization of the College President. This policy applies also to law enforcement officials who may otherwise be authorized to carry firearms while off duty and to other individuals who may be licensed to carry firearms. This procedure prohibiting the possession of firearms does not apply to law enforcement officials on official duty when authorized by federal or state law.3
    2. Workplace Violence Prevention Program
      1. The college president has appointed an advisory committee who is charged with ensuring that workplace violence prevention policies and response procedures are followed across the college and those employees are trained and educated in these procedures.
      2. The college has a written workplace violence prevention program that includes:
        1. a definition of workplace violence
        2. a statement of commitment to zero tolerance of workplace violence
        3. techniques on how to recognize and avoid workplace violence situations
        4. identification of high-risk occupations (such as working in a public setting, or working late at night)
        5. the importance of reporting all workplace violence incidents, and the procedure to do so
    3. Information and Training for Employees
      1. The college Workplace Violence Policy and Prevention Response Procedures is readily available to all employees. A copy resides in every center/unit of the college and is available on the web and upon request through the Office of Safety and Security.
      2. At the time of initial appointment, and annually thereafter, the college provides employees with information regarding risks of violence within the workplace that includes:
        1. the requirements of NYS Labor Law § 27-b4
        2. the risk factors in their workplace(s), as supplied by the Office of Safety and Security
        3. the location and availability of the written workplace violence prevention program that would identify measures individuals can take to protect themselves from such risks, including specific safety procedures implemented to protect the college community.
    4. Retaliation
      1. Retaliatory action against anyone acting in good faith who has made a complaint of workplace violence, who has reported witnessing workplace violence, or who has been involved in reporting, investigating or responding to workplace violence is a violation of this policy. Those found responsible for retaliatory action may be subject to disciplinary action.
      2. All employees should become familiar with the College Incident Reporting Procedures5 located on the college’s Office of Safety and Security website.
    5. Reporting Procedures
      1. Incidents of workplace violence, threats of workplace violence, or observations of workplace violence are not to be ignored by any member of the college community. Workplace violence should promptly be reported to appropriate college officials, and when necessary to the police, in accordance with the College Incident Reporting Procedure.

        Additionally, all members of the college community are encouraged to report behavior they reasonably believe poses a potential for workplace violence in order to maintain a safe working and learning environment.
        1. An individual involved in or witness to an incident of danger, such as personal injury, violence involving weapons or threat of weapons, should immediately report it to police (dial 911). The employee should also immediately notify his/her supervisor, associate dean, dean, director, assistant vice-president or vice provost.
        2. An employee involved in or witness to an incident without weapons or personal injury should report it immediately to his/her supervisor, associate dean, director, or assistant vice-president.
        3. The employee or supervisor is responsible for reporting such incidents to the Office of Safety and Security, (518) 587-2100, ext 2800 Incident reporting line ext 2899),, as soon as possible or within 24-hours following the incident. A copy of the report will be automatically forwarded to the Office of Human Resources, Director of Student Affairs or Affirmative Action Officer, as appropriate.
    6. Preventive Measures
      1. All employee and students are responsible for helping to maintain a safe work and educational environment and are urged to take reasonable precautions to prevent violence and other unsafe conditions in the workplace and report indicators of increased risk of violent behavior.
      2. An employee is expected to notify his/her supervisor, associate dean, dean, director, or assistant vice-president, or vice provost as well as the Office of Human Resources, whenever a protective restraining order is granted, which mentions college property, or involves a college employee, or a person working at or attending the college, and provide a copy of the order. OHR will provide information to the Office of Safety and Security as necessary. Appropriate efforts will be made to protect the privacy and sensitivity of the information provided.
      3. Victims of domestic violence6 who believe the violence may extend into the workplace should act responsibly. If an employee believes that domestic or other personal matters may result in their being subject to violence extending into the workplace, they are encouraged to notify their supervisor, associate dean, dean or director, assistant vice-president or vice provost as soon as possible, as well as the Office of Safety and Security. Privacy will be maintained to the extent possible.
    7. Responsibilities
      1. Dean/Director/Vice-President
        1. Each dean/director, vice-president, or assigned delegate is responsible within his/her area of jurisdiction for the implementation of this policy.
      2. Office of Safety and Security
        1. Assist supervisors, deans/directors, other college officials, and police in responding to workplace violence incidents
        2. Disseminate this policy annually to all employees and post it on the college’s website
        3. Facilitate appropriate responses to reported incidents of workplace violence
        4. Notify authorities, if appropriate, of reported workplace violence incidents
        5. Immediately log all incidents of workplace violence and notify the respective center deans/directors of an incident with his/her employee, or other appropriate college officials of an incident involving a student
        6. Maintain an internal tracking system of all threats and incidents of violence
        7. Prepares annual reports for the college President, detailing the number and description of workplace violence incidents, the disposition of the incidents, and recommend policy changes, training issues, or security issues that were or should be implemented to maintain a safe working and learning environment.
      3. Other Assigned Offices
        1. The Office of Human Resources provides new employees with a copy of the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Response Procedures, at the time of hire.
        2. The Office of Human Resources maintains a record of Orders of Protection and notifies the Office of Safety and Security.
        3. The Office of Safety and Security, and the Office of Human Resources, conducts employee training to include awareness and prevention of workplace violence.
        4. The Office of Safety and Security investigates and communicates the incident with the dean/director and initiates appropriate actions.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

  1. Student Conduct Policy
  2. SUNY Bias-Related Crime Prevention Policy
  3. Bias-Related Crime and Hate Crime
  4. Firearms Policy
  5. NYS Labor Law § 27-b
  6. Empire State College Incident Reporting Procedures