Workplace Violence Policy

Workplace Violence Policy


Vice President of Administration and Chief Operations Officer


Director of Safety and Security


Safety and Security



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

09/30/20, 05/06/10


Workplace Violence

Background Information:


To establish campus policy for workplace violence and related issues.


Workplace Violence:  Physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in a work setting.


A. 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 violence against employees by coworkers, students, or members of the public. This policy 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 state and federal laws regarding workplace safety.

B. 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 activity. This includes situations occurring outside a College location or College-sponsored event that may negatively affect the work environment.
      2. Workplace violence involves physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in a work setting. Some examples include:
        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.
      4. Empire State College prohibits any person from possessing firearms at any College facility or College-sponsored event without the written authorization of the Director of Safety & Security and in his/her absence, the Director of Operations. This policy also applies 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 state or federal law.
    2. Workplace Violence Prevention Program
      1. The College president has appointed a Safety & Security 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 college website 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. some risk factors in the workplace, 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 will be subject to disciplinary action.
      2. All employees should become familiar with the College Incident Reporting Procedures located on the College’s Safety and Security website.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations


Reporting Procedures:

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 be immediately reported to the local 911 center, Safety & Security, or other College official, as applicable.

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.

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 the local police 911 center. Upon completion of the emergency, the employee shall notify their supervisor and Safety & Security, who will notify other College officials, as required.

An employee involved in or witness to an incident without weapons or personal injury shall notify their supervisor and Safety & Security, who will notify other College officials, as required.

If an incident report is completed by Safety & Security or a local police agency, Safety & Security will forward a copy to the appropriate departments, as applicable.

Preventive Measures:

All employees 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.

An employee shall notify his/her supervisor, the Office of Human Resources and Safety & Security whenever a Court protective order is issued naming a College employee or a person attending the College as a respondent/accused person. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy and sensitivity of the information provided.

Note: Nothing in this policy precludes an employee from notifying the entities described above if the respondent/accused person is not a college employee or student.

If an employee believes that domestic or other personal matters may result in violence extending into the workplace, they are encouraged to notify their supervisor and the Office of Safety and Security. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy and sensitivity of the information provided.



  • Each dean/director, vice-president, or assigned delegate is responsible within his/her area of responsibility for the implementation of this policy.
  • Assist supervisors, deans/directors, other college officials and police in responding to workplace violence incidents.
  • Disseminate this policy annually to all employees and post it on the college’s website.
  • Facilitate appropriate responses to reported incidents of workplace violence.
  • Notify authorities, if appropriate, of reported workplace violence incidents.
  • Notify other College officials, as required.
  • Recommend policy modifications, new policies, training issues, or security concerns, as required.

Office of Safety and Security

Other Assigned Offices:

  • The Office of Human Resources provides new employees with a copy of the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Response Procedures, at the time of appointment.
  • The Office of Human Resources maintains a record of Orders of Protection and notifies the Office of Safety and Security.
  • The Office of Safety and Security and the Office of Human Resources, conducts employee training to include awareness and prevention of workplace violence.
  • The Office of Safety and Security investigates and communicates the incidents to other College officials, as required.


Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Student Conduct Policy

SUNY Bias-Related Crime Prevention Policy

Bias-Related Crime and Hate Crime

Firearms Policy

NYS Labor Law § 27-b

Empire State College Incident Reporting Procedures