Workplace violence is a serious concern nationally and locally. Our University community is not immune from incidents of workplace violence. Last April, President Lawrence appointed a Workplace Violence Committee, composed of faculty, students, and staff. The Workplace Violence Committee, chaired by Leslie Fehrenbach, Associate Vice President for Administration and Public Safety, developed a draft policy. President Lawrence then transmitted the draft Policy to the Senate for its consideration. The Senate Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee received the following charge from the Senate Executive Committee:
Review and provide comments on the Rutgers University Workplace Violence Policy, per President Lawrence’s November 2000 request.The University Senate Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee reviewed the policy and recommended some changes, all of which were incorporated into the present proposed policy. [Revised Policy appended below.] The Committee endorses this proposed Workplace Violence Policy, and recommends that it be adopted and implemented immediately.
Resolution in Support of Draft Workplace Violence Policy
Whereas, the University Senate's Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee has examined and reported on the proposed Workplace Violence Policy; and
Whereas, the University Senate has reviewed the Committee's Report and its Recommendations, finding those Recommendations to be sound and in the best interests of Rutgers University;
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Senate endorses the Report on the proposed Workplace Violence Policy, and urges the Administration to implement it.
Rutgers University is committed to fostering an academic, work, and living environment that promotes the achievement of its mission of teaching, research, and service. To accomplish this goal, student employees, faculty, and staff are expected to behave in a fashion that promotes a community free from violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, and disruptive behavior of a violent or intimidating nature. In a national culture that is becoming increasingly more violent, the issue of workplace violence has received attention across the country. While this type of conduct is not pervasive at the University, no workplace is immune. This policy, therefore, was written to address the issue of workplace violence in our community.
Rutgers University prohibits workplace violence. Specifically, the University will respond promptly and in accordance with this policy to violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, or disruptive behavior of a threatening nature towards people or property. Complaints involving workplace violence will be given the serious attention they deserve. Individuals who violate this policy may be removed from Rutgers property and are subject to disciplinary and/or personnel action up to, and including, termination and/or criminal prosecution.1
This Policy applies to all areas of University operations and programs and to University facilities and off-campus locations where University business is conducted. It applies to all University employees, including student employees, with respect to conduct that arises out of their employment status, as well as to the conduct of all vendors, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, and others who do business with the University. It also applies to other persons not affiliated with the University such as former employees, customers, and visitors. Complaints of workplace violence committed by employees or others covered by this Policy will be addressed in accordance with this Policy.2
Workplace violence is defined as any actual or threatening behavior of a violent nature, as understood by a reasonable person, exhibited by faculty, staff, student employees, or others within the scope of this Policy. Examples of workplace violence include, but are not limited to:
B. Menacing or threatening behavior (such as throwing objects, waving fists, damaging property, stalking, or otherwise acting in an aggressive manner; or, using oral or written statements specifically intended to frighten, coerce, or cause distress) where such behavior would be interpreted by a reasonable person as being evidence of intent to cause physical harm to individuals or property.
C. Possessing any firearm, imitation firearm3, or any components which can readily be assembled into a firearm or other weapon, as defined by the Laws of New Jersey, without specific written authorization from the Division of Public Safety, irrespective of whether the individual possesses a valid permit to carry the firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card.
A. General Reporting Responsibilities
All individuals who believe a crime has been committed against them have the right, and are encouraged, to report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
E. False Reports
Employees who intentionally file false reports pertaining to workplace violence will be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, termination.
VI. Responsibilities of Members of the University Community
A. Designated University Representatives
Designated University Representatives are responsible for assisting supervisors in responding to workplace violence; facilitating appropriate responses to reported incidents of workplace violence; notifying the RUPD and Workplace Violence Consultation Team (WVCT described below); consulting as necessary with University Personnel Counseling Service and/or Office of Occupational Health to secure professional intervention; and maintaining records of reports of workplace violence.
2. Employees who have obtained restraining orders are expected to notify their supervisors and the RUPD of any orders that list Rutgers locations as protected areas.
3. Domestic violence victims who believe the violence may extend into the workplace, or employees who believe they may be subjected to violence extending into the workplace, are encouraged to notify their supervisor, or the RUPD. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
2. Supervisors are required to contact the RUPD in the event of imminent or actual violence involving weapons or potential injuries.
3. Supervisors are expected to inform their immediate supervisor promptly about any acts or threats of violence even if the situation has been addressed and resolved.
2. Students who also serve in the capacity of an employee should follow the procedures outlined in section VI. B. of this Policy.
The RUPD will provide an immediate response and implement all appropriate emergency procedures as warranted by the situation including notifying the Designated University Representative. When appropriate, other law enforcement agencies will be notified.
F. Workplace Violence Consultation Team (WVCT)5
Convened by the Designated University Representative, the WVCT is responsible for coordinating University resources and providing supervision for implementation of this policy. The WVCT also is available, as needed, for workplace violence prevention, crisis intervention, and post-incident debriefing.
G. University Communications
University announcements to both the University community and outside agencies pertaining to incidents of workplace violence will be made through the Office of Media Relations and Communications or its designated representative(s).
The University shall maintain the confidentiality of investigations to the extent possible within the requirements of conducting reasonable investigations while ensuring the safety of members of the University community. The University will act on the basis of anonymous complaints where it has a reasonable basis to believe that there has been a violation of this Policy and that the safety and well-being of members of the University community would be served by such action.
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 the reporting of, investigating or responding to workplace violence is a violation of this Workplace Violence Policy. It is also a violation of this Policy to take adverse action against an employee solely on account of his/her being an actual or potential victim of workplace violence. Those found responsible for retaliatory action will be subject to discipline up to, and including, termination.
A. Workplace Violence Education Committee
The Designated University Representatives will establish a Workplace Violence Education Committee to develop and implement training sessions to inform employees of the University's Workplace Violence Policy and to raise awareness about workplace violence.
B. Professional Development
Professional Development opportunities are available at Rutgers and
elsewhere concerning conflict and stress management, communication skills,
and related topics. Employees are encouraged to take advantage of these
opportunities to learn effective ways to prevent and respond to workplace