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Workplace Violence

From Appalachian State University Policy Manual

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Policy 602.32

1 Introduction

1.1 In accordance with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers have an obligation to provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment. Consistent with that law and with the law and policies of the State of North Carolina, Appalachian State University (“the University” or “ASU”) is committed to provide a workplace that is free from violence by establishing preventative measures, by holding perpetrators of violence accountable, and by providing assistance and support to victims. A Threat Assessment Team has been established to assess both immediate and potential threats of violence, including threats that could potentially impact the University workplace. Any form of Workplace Violence as defined in this policy may be cause for disciplinary sanctions, up to and including dismissal. Violent acts, whether on-duty or off-duty, affect the ability of all employees to perform their jobs. The University will apply all useful management tools to accomplish the dual purpose of reducing the effects of violence on victims and the University community as well as holding perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions. Office of Human Resources, Office of the Provost, ASU Police, Counseling for Faculty & Staff, Dean of Students, and Counseling & Psychological Services are resources for victims of Workplace Violence.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all ASU employees regardless of appointment type, including ASU students who are employees of the University. This policy applies to employees while functioning in the course and scope of their employment as well as off-duty violent conduct that has a potential adverse impact on any University employee’s ability to perform his or her assigned duties and responsibilities.

2.2 Acts of violence by vendors, contractors, visitors, and other non-ASU employees have the potential to negatively affect the University workplace. Although such individuals are not subject to sanctions under this policy, they may be referred to their employer and/or to criminal or civil authorities for appropriate action.

2.3 The University administrative unit responsible for providing guidance to management for each appointment is listed below:

Employee Appointment Administrative Unit to Consult
SPA and EPA Non-Faculty Office of Human Resources
SPA and EPA Non-Faculty Temporary Employees Office of Human Resources
Faculty Office of the Provost
Student Employees Office of Student Employment and

Office of Student Conduct

The Office of General Counsel is responsible for advising all institutional officials regarding the legal interpretation and application of this policy.

3 Definitions

3.1 Bullying

Includes, but is not limited to, any repeated, aggressive behavior, by any means, intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.

3.2 Domestic Violence

Is any asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offense committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, or cohabitant, or anyone protected under North Carolina domestic or family violence laws. Domestic Violence includes the use of abusive or violent behavior, including threats and intimidation, between people who have an ongoing or prior intimate relationship. This could include people who are married, live together, or date; or people who have previously been married, lived together, or dated.

3.3 Intimidation

Any act, by any means that places another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct. Includes, but is not limited to, stalking or other behavior intended to frighten, coerce, or induce stress.

3.4 Physical Attack

Is unwanted or hostile physical contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, using a weapon, shoving or throwing objects.

3.5 Property Damage

Is intentional damage to property and includes property owned by Appalachian State University employees, students, visitors, or vendors.

3.6 Stalking

Any course of conduct, by any means, that is directed at a specific person and would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety. Includes harassing or pestering an individual, on more than one occasion, by any means directed at that person that causes the person emotional distress or fear of death, physical harm, or repeated harassment.

3.7 Threat

Is the expression, by any means, of intent to cause physical harm or mental harm. An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the present ability to carry it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional, or future.

3.8 Weapon

Any firearm or other dangerous weapon, implement or means, whereby the life of a person is endangered or threatened. For a complete listing see North Carolina General Statute 14-269.2

3.9 Workplace Violence

Includes, but is not limited to, bullying, domestic violence, intimidation, physical attack, property damage, stalking, or threats, that affects the University workplace.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Example policy 1

4.2 Example policy 2

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Effective Date

9 Revision Dates