University of Washington Policy and Procedure on Workplace Violence

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UW Workplace Violence Policy

The University of Washington is committed to providing a safe, healthful workplace that is free from violence or threats of violence. For purposes of this policy, workplace violence is any violent or potentially violent behavior that arises from or occurs in the workplace that affects University faculty, staff and students.

Individuals who engage in violent or prohibited behavior (see below) may be removed from the premises, and may be subject to dismissal or other disciplinary action, arrest and/or criminal prosecution. This policy applies to all work locations including offices, work sites, vehicles, and field locations.

The University takes reports of threatening or violent workplace incidents seriously. Employees, supervisors and managers are expected to follow the University of Washington Workplace Violence Report/Response Procedure to report actual or alleged incidents of violence in the workplace.

In addition to this policy, some units (such as medical centers) have particular legislative or regulatory requirements with which they must comply.

Prohibited Behavior

The University of Washington does not tolerate behavior, whether direct or through the use of university facilities, property or resources that:

Violent or threatening behavior can include physical acts, oral or written statements, harassing telephone calls, gestures and expressions or behaviors such as stalking.

UW Workplace Violence Report/Response Procedure

Direct Threats of Harm to Persons or Property

Direct threats of harm to persons or property require immediate response as follows:

Main Campus &
Health Sciences

UW Medical Center

UW Tacoma

UW Bothell

Harborview Medical Center

All Other UW Locations

Call 9-911

Call 5555
(Harborview Public Safety)

Follow Established Local Procedure for Calling Law Enforcement

Reporting Requirements

All members of the University community must cooperate to maintain a safe work environment. Individuals should report to their supervisor any incidents of violent, threatening, harassing, or intimidating behavior in the workplace, whether or not those involved are University employees.

Employees who report incidents of workplace violence may request to do so confidentially. Such requests will be honored to the degree legally allowable. Employees who are concerned about confidentiality should discuss their concerns with their unit's Human Resources Consultant.

Each unit is responsible for reporting incidents of violent or threatening behavior involving all University employees and appointees as follows:

  1. Supervisors and managers who receive reports of violent or threatening behavior must notify the head of the unit (or designee); and
  1. Telephone the unit's Human Resources Consultant. If the Consultant is not immediately available the reporting supervisor or manager should request to speak with any other Human Resources Consultant, Supervisor or Director in the office. Do not leave a voice mail message.

If a report must be made after normal business hours, use the procedure for reporting direct threats of harm.

The unit's Human Resources Consultant will involve the appropriate resources and assist supervisors and managers in their response to allegations of violent or threatening conduct. If allegations of violent behavior are made against faculty or students, the Human Resources Consultant will notify the Provost's office or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, respectively.

Supervisors must also report alleged violent workplace behavior on an "Incident/Accident/Quality Improvement Report" form. For details on incident reporting, including where to obtain and submit the proper form, see Environmental Health and Safety's "Reporting Work Related Incidents, Injuries or Illnesses" web page.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be a form of workplace violence and in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order 96-05 the UW has adopted separate policy and procedures on domestic violence.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing

"Critical Incident Stress Debriefing" is the process by which individuals who have experienced or been exposed to a traumatic event can be professionally helped to resolve the concerns or anxieties that such an experience often causes. Follow the link for more information about University of Washington Critical Incident Stress Debriefing services.

Source:    University of Washington