Zero Tolerance Policy on Workplace Violence; Superceded by EM 02-116

Executive Memorandum 98-009

March 02, 1998

To: Campus Community

From: Manuel A. Esteban, President

Subject: Zero Tolerance Policy on Workplace Violence; Superceded by EM 02-116

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY ON WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

California State University, Chico is committed to creating and maintaining a working, learning, and social environment for all employees which is free from violence.

Civility, understanding, and mutual respect toward all individuals are intrinsic to excellence in teaching and learning, to the existence of a safe and healthy workplace, and to the maintenance of a campus culture and environment which serves the needs of many constituencies which support it. Threats of violence or acts of violence not only impact the individuals concerned, but also the mission of the University to foster higher education through open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. The University prohibits violent acts or threats of violence, and any employee who commits a violent act or threatens to commit a violent act is subject to disciplinary action and/or civil or criminal prosecution as appropriate.

California State University, Chico has zero tolerance for violence against any member of the workforce, other persons in the workplace, or property. Any person who makes substantial threats, exhibits threatening behavior, or engages in violent acts on university property shall be subject to removal from the premises as quickly as safety permits, pending the outcome of an investigation. All individuals who apply for or obtain a protective or restraining order which lists university locations as being protected areas must provide the University Police Department with a copy of the petition and declarations used to seek the order, a copy of any temporary protective or restraining order which is granted, and a copy of any protective or restraining order which is made permanent.

For the purpose of this policy, violence and threats of violence include but are not limited to

  • Any act that is physically assaultive 
  • Any physical or verbal threat, behavior, or action which is interpreted by a reasonable person to carry the potential:
    • To harm or endanger the safety of others
    • To result in an act of aggression
    • To destroy or damage property

Consult the following campus resources for information in regard to this policy. These resources form the Workplace Violence Consultation Team, which is trained to provide risk assessments and action planning.

UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

The primary role of the University Police Department is to provide an immediate response to a crisis in progress, not only by dispatching police officers but also by requesting and coordinating fire department and ambulance responses, if needed. As a member of the Consultation Team, UPD will provide physical security for threatened or at-risk persons; enforce applicable laws; and thoroughly document all incidents and actions. In case of an emergency, dial 171, and dial 5372 in a non-emergency.

FACULTY AND STAFF ASSISTANCE

Supervisors are encouraged to contact the Director of Faculty and Staff Assistance (898-4645) when employees come forward with concerns about an individual, particularly if the issue is stress-induced. Support will be offered to those impacted by the individual causing concern in the work environment. Unless there is immediate danger, do not discuss the issue with other employees prior to contacting the Director or another appropriate team member. If danger is imminent, contact University Police immediately.

Most inquiries are confidential, but a "duty to warn" is always adhered to if there is a belief that an identified person is in harm's way. All parties concerned, including the campus police, will work together to resolve potential problems. It is up to the Workplace Violence Consultation Team to decide who will confront the employee or notify other employees during the process.

PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING

The primary role of the Psychological Counseling Center is to provide counseling services to students who are experiencing emotional difficulties or psychological crises. However, the Center is available to any member of the campus community in a psychological crisis for the purpose of crisis intervention and referral to appropriate resources in the community. Additionally, the Center routinely provides consultation to any member of the campus community concerned with how to deal with students or others in psychological distress.

If you believe that a student poses a threat of violence, contact the Director of the Counseling Center or any other counselor at 898-6345. If danger is imminent, contact the University Police immediately. The Counseling Center has a "duty to warn" in an instance where there is an identified potential victim and the Center believes that there is a significant chance of harm to the victim. If you are unsure about a situation, call the Center to discuss the issue, assess the situation, and consider alternatives.

HUMAN RESOURCES

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for assisting in the prevention of violence in the workplace by providing advice and counsel to managers, supervisors, and employees when faced with threats or other situations that have a potential for violence. Human Resource's role is to assist campus departments in implementing appropriate personnel practices used in the hiring, supervision, and retention of employees. To accomplish this, Human Resources is available to advise and instruct on subjects such as improving employee evaluations, proper documentation techniques, and interpretation and application of university policy and procedures.

Human Resources is also responsible for assisting in pre-employment screening and other preventative hiring practices and is the source of information for fitness for duty examinations, leaves of absence, and disciplinary procedures. Human Resources also assists as appropriate in the investigation of threats of violence and addresses related issues of legitimate concern to employees. If employees, supervisors, or managers need assistance in these areas, call the Office of Human Resources-Personnel at 898-6435.