Zero Tolerance Policy on Workplace Violence (EM98-09)

To: 

Campus Community 

From: 

Manuel A. Esteban, President 

Subject: 

Executive Memorandum 98-09, 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

Established personnel and public safety procedures will serve as the mechanism for resolving situations of violence or threats of violence. Each allegation of violence or threat of violence will be taken seriously. Individuals are responsible to report acts of violence, threats of violence, or any other behavior, which by intent, act, or outcome harms another person or property, to their supervisor or the University Police Department.

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.

A. 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 9-911, and dial 5555 in a non-emergency.

B. 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.

C. 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.

D. 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.


Workplace Violence Campus Resources

Workplace Violence Consultation Team

The following offices are available for information and consultation in regards to the Zero Tolerance Policy on Workplace Violence:

THE ROLE OF THE UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

The University Police Department's primary role 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. Prior to an actual occurrence, UPD involvement will include: Participation on the Workplace Violence Consultation Team; providing physical security for threatened or at-risk persons; confronting the potentially violent person (under certain circumstances); enforcing applicable laws; and thoroughly documenting all incidents and actions. In case of an emergency dial 9-911 and in a non-emergency dial 5555.

THE ROLE OF FACULTY AND STAFF ASSISTANCE

The best kept secret on campus may not be that secret! Others may have come forward with concerns or stress induced issues because of the person in question. Supervisors are encouraged to contact the Director of Faculty and Staff Assistance IMMEDIATELY when concerns arise. The Director is a member of the Workplace Violence Consultation Team which is trained to provide risk assessments and action planning. In addition, support will be offered to those impacted by the individual causing concern in the work environment. Unless immediate danger is present, DO NOT discuss 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. A "Duty to Warn" is always adhered to if there is a belief that an identified person is in harms way. All parties concerned, including 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 and/or notify other employees during the process.

THE ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCES

The Office of Human Resources (HR) 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. HR's role on campus is to assist campus departments in the implementation of appropriate personnel practices used in the hiring, supervision, and retention of employees. To accomplish this, HR is available to advise and instruct on subjects such as improving employee performance, completing accurate job descriptions and performance evaluations, proper documentation techniques, and interpretation and application of University policy and procedures.

HR 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. HR also assists, as appropriate, in the investigation of threats of violence and addresses related issues that are of legitimate concern to employees. If employees, supervisors or managers need assistance in these areas call the Office of Human Resources - Personnel.

THE ROLE OF 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 over how to deal with students or others in psychological distress.

If you believe that a student poses a threat of violence, please contact the Director of the Counseling Center and if he is not available, any other counselor on the staff. It is important that you share your concern right away rather than waiting "to see if anything happens." If danger is eminent, contact the University Police immediately. The Counseling Center has a "duty to warn" in an instance where their is an identified potential victim and the Center believes that there is a significant chance of harm to the victim.

If you are not sure whether to be concerned, feel free to call and discuss your concerns in order to assess the situation and consider alternatives.


Introduction

Many workplaces are at risk for workplace violence and, unfortunately, a University environment is not immune. California State University, Chico is committed to preventing workplace violence, and ensuring a safe and healthful work environment for all members of the University community. Certain campus workplace situations are recognized as presenting significantly greater risks than others. Therefore, every campus office or department should perform an initial assessment to identify its particular workplace security issues. If that initial assessment determines that University employees are at a significant risk for workplace violence, then the responsible manager or supervisor should review the material presented in this Workplace Security Program.

There are a number of factors that have been shown to contribute to the risk of violence in a University workplace. If one or more of the following situations or activities is present in your workplace, then you should consider your workplace to be at potential risk of violence:

These are just some of the major factors that can contribute to workplace violence in a University environment. If you have identified any of these, or other indicators of violence in the workplace, a further evaluation should be performed.


Responsibility

At California State University, Chico, authority and responsibility for implementing the provisions of this Workplace Security Program have been assigned to the individual identified below:

 

All managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing and maintaining this program in their work areas and for answering employee questions about the Program. A copy of these guidelines is available from each manager and supervisor.


Workplace Violence In California

Cal-OSHA has classified the circumstances associated with workplace violence into three major types. All three types exist to varying degrees in a typical campus environment. However, it is important to keep in mind that a particular University workplace, situation, activity or personnel classification may be subject to more than one type.

TYPE I VIOLENCE -- A Type I workplace violence event occurs when an individual enters the workplace specifically to commit a criminal act. While the assailant may feign being a consumer of University goods or services as a pretext to enter a campus building, office or department, he or she has no legitimate relationship to the workplace.

University employees who have face-to-face contact and exchange money with the public, who work late at night and into the early morning hours, and who often work alone or in very small numbers are at greatest risk of a Type I event.

At California State University, Chico, the following areas have been identified as being particularly susceptible to Type I workplace violence:

TYPE II VIOLENCE -- A Type II workplace violence event involves an assault or threat by someone who is either the recipient or the object of a service provided by a workplace or employee.

Type II events involve both fatal and non fatal injuries to University individuals who provide goods or services to the public (i.e., students, community members, visitors). These events chiefly involve threats, intimidation or assaults on Public Safety personnel, health care and social service providers, faculty, sales personnel, and other University employees who provide professional, public safety, administrative or business services to the public.

At California State University, Chico, the following areas have been identified as particularly susceptible to Type II workplace violence:

Unlike Type I events, which often represent irregular occurrences in the life of any particular at-risk University office, department or employee, Type II events occur on a daily basis in many campus service areas, and therefore represent a more pervasive risk for campus personnel.

TYPE III VIOLENCE -- A Type III workplace violence event consists of an assault by an individual who has some employment-related involvement with the workplace. A Type III event usually involves a threat of violence, or a physical act of violence resulting in a fatal or non fatal injury, by a current or former University employee, supervisor or manager; a current or former spouse or lover; a relative or friend; or some other person who has a personal dispute involving an employee of the workplace.

A Type III event is not associated with a specific type of University workplace or occupation. Any campus workplace can be at risk for a Type III event.

At California State University, Chico, the following areas have been identified as particularly susceptible to Type III workplace violence:


Compliance

California State University, Chico has established the following guidelines to ensure compliance with campus rules on workplace security.

All University employees are responsible for using safe work practices, for following directives, guidelines and procedures and for assisting in maintaining a safe and secure work environment.

California State University, Chico's program for ensuring that University employees, including supervisors and managers, comply with work practices that are designed to make the workplace more secure, and do not engage in threats or physical actions which create a security hazard for others in the workplace, includes:

         Informing employees, supervisors and managers of the provisions of California State University, Chico's Workplace Security Program, and its "Zero Tolerance" policy for workplace violence, including threats of physical harm and intimidation. A copy of California State University, Chico's "Zero Tolerance" policy appears at Attachment 1.

         Evaluating the performance of employees in complying with the University's workplace security measures.

         Recognizing employees who perform work practices which promote security in the workplace.

         Providing training and/or guidance counseling to employees whose performance is deficient in complying with work practices designed to ensure workplace security.

         Taking corrective measures and/or disciplining employees for repeated failure to comply with their work related workplace security practices.


Communication

At California State University, Chico, we recognize that to maintain a safe, healthy and secure workplace we must have open, two-way communication between all employees, including managers and supervisors, on all workplace safety, health and security issues. California State University, Chico has a communication guideline designed to encourage a continuous flow of safety, health and security information between University management and the campus community without fear of reprisal or ridicule, and in a form that is readily understandable. California State University, Chico's communication guidelines consists of the following items:

         New employee orientation on California State University, Chico's workplace security guidelines, procedures and work practices.

         Periodic review of the California State University, Chico's Workplace Security Program

         Training programs designed to address specific aspects of workplace security unique to this campus.

         Regularly scheduled safety training available for employees, including workplace security discussions.

         A system to ensure that all University employees, through their managers and supervisors, understand and observe the workplace security practices.

         Posted or distributed workplace security information.

         A guideline encouraging campus employees to inform University management promptly about workplace security hazards or threats of violence.

         Procedures for protecting members of the University community who report physical violence or threats from retaliation by the person engaging in such conduct.

         Addressing campus security issues at workplace security meetings.


Hazard Assessment

California State University, Chico performs workplace hazard assessment for workplace security in the form of a periodic review to identify and evaluate workplace security hazards and threats of workplace violence.

Periodic ongoing review of workplace safety is conducted according to the following schedule:

         When California State University, Chico initially established this Workplace Security Program;

         Currently each semester by campus offices in consultation with Plant Operations, University Police, and Environmental Management, Health and Safety; and Risk Management.

         When new or previously unidentified security hazards are recognized;

         When violence in the workplace injuries or threats of injury occur; and

         Whenever workplace security conditions warrant inspection.

Periodic reviews for security hazards consist of identification and evaluation of workplace security hazards and changes in employee work practices, and may require assessment for more than one type of workplace violence. California State University, Chico performs reviews for each type of workplace violence by using the methods specified below to identify and evaluate workplace security hazards.

Reviews for Type I workplace security hazards include assessing:

         The exterior and interior of the campus facilities for their attractiveness to robbers and other criminal activity.

         The need for security surveillance measures, such as mirrors, motion detectors, enhanced lighting or cameras.

         Posting of signs notifying the public that limited cash is kept on the premises.

         Procedures for employee response during a robbery or other criminal act.

         Procedures for reporting suspicious persons or activities.

         Posting of emergency telephone numbers for University law enforcement and for local fire and medical services where employees have access to a telephone.

         Limiting the amount of cash on hand and using time access safes and other robbery deterrent measures.

Reviews for Type II workplace security hazards include assessing:

         Access to, and freedom of movement within, the workplace.

         Adequacy of workplace security systems, such as door locks, security windows, physical barriers and restraint systems.

         Frequency and severity of threatening or hostile situations that may lead to violent acts by persons who receive goods or services from the campus.

         Appropriateness of training for employees in safely handling threatening or hostile service situations.

         Effectiveness of systems and procedures to warn others of a campus security danger or to summon assistance, e.g., alarms or panic buttons.

         The use of work practices such as "buddy" systems for specified emergency events.

         The availability of employee escape routes.

Reviews for Type III workplace security hazards include assessing:

         That California State University, Chico's violence prevention guideline has been periodically communicated to the campus community.

         University employees', supervisors', and managers' knowledge of the warning signs of potential workplace violence.

         Access to, and freedom of movement within, the workplace by non-employees, including recently discharged employees or persons with whom a campus employee is having a dispute.

         Frequency and severity of University employee reports of threats of physical or verbal abuse by managers, supervisors, subordinates or other employees.

         Any prior violent acts, threats of physical violence, verbal abuse, property damage or other signs of strain or pressure in the workplace.

         Employee disciplinary and discharge procedures in consultation with Human Resources.


Incident Investigations

California State University, Chico has established the following procedures for investigating incidents of workplace violence or threats of physical injury.

A team approach has been developed and implemented to address supervisory concerns about an employee or incident which could be potentially threatening to the campus community. The team includes:

Chief of Police
University Police Department
898-5555

Director
Faculty and Staff Assistance
898-4645

Director
Psychological Counseling
898-6345

Director
Personnel Department
898-6435

Supervisors, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact one of these individuals when issues regarding workplace or personal security may come to their attention. The team approach allows the supervisor or employee to meet with the professionals designated above at the same time and provides a broad perspective on how to handle a potential problem. There may be times when only one or two team members will be called to respond to a particular incident. Confidentiality is adhered to except when danger to self or others becomes apparent. Federal laws require mandated reporting to appropriate authorities when potential violence to an identified person or workplace is reported.

The following protocol will be followed by University Police and others deemed appropriate:

         Reviewing previous incidents.

         Visiting the scene of an incident as soon as possible.

         Interviewing threatened or injured employees and witnesses.

         Examining the workplace for security risk factors associated with the incident, including any previous reports of inappropriate behavior by the perpetrator.

         Determining the cause of the incident.

         Taking corrective action to prevent the incident from recurring.

         Recording the findings and corrective actions taken.

         All media contacts will be handled by the public information staff as directed by the President.


Hazard Correction

Known hazards which threaten security of University employees shall be corrected in a timely manner, based on severity when they are first observed or discovered.

Corrective measures for Type I workplace security hazards may include:

         Making the workplace unattractive to robbers and thieves.

         Using surveillance measures, such as cameras, motion detectors, enhanced lighting or mirrors, to provide information as to what is going on outside and inside the workplace.

         Procedures for reporting suspicious persons or activities.

         Posting of emergency telephone numbers for campus law enforcement and local fire and medical services where employees have access to a telephone with an outside line.

         Posting of signs notifying the public that limited cash is kept on the premises.

         Limiting the amount of cash on hand and using time access safes and other crime prevention measures.

         Employee, supervisor, and management training on emergency action procedures.

Corrective measures for Type II workplace security hazards include:

         Controlling access to the workplace and freedom of movement within it, consistent with business necessity.

         Ensuring the adequacy of workplace security systems, such as door locks, alarms, security windows, physical barriers and restraint systems.

         Providing employee training in recognizing and handling threatening or hostile situations that may lead to violent acts by persons who receive goods or services from the campus.

         Placing effective systems to warn others of a security danger or to summon assistance, e.g., alarms or panic buttons.

         Providing procedures for a "buddy" system for specified emergency events.

         Ensuring adequate employee escape routes.

Corrective measures for Type III workplace security hazards may include:

         Effectively communicating California State University, Chico's anti-violence guidelines to all employees, supervisors and managers, including its "zero tolerance" for acts or threats of violence or physical intimidation.

         Continually assessing and improving how well California State University, Chico's management and employees communicate with each other regarding security issues.

         Increasing awareness by University employees, supervisors and managers of the warning signs of potential workplace violence.

         Controlling access to, and freedom of movement within, the workplace by non-employees, including recently discharged employees or persons with whom a University employee is having a dispute.

         Providing assessment and short term counseling and referrals to employees, supervisors or managers who exhibit behavior that represents strain or pressure which may lead to physical or verbal abuse of co-workers through Faculty and Staff Assistance.

         Ensure that all reports of violent acts, threats of physical violence, verbal abuse, property damage, or other signs of strain or pressure in the workplace are handled effectively by University management and that the person making the report is not subject to retaliation by the person making the threat, or to ridicule by the person receiving the report.

         Ensure that employee disciplinary and discharge procedures effectively and expeditiously address the potential for workplace violence.


Training, Instruction, and Information

California State University, Chico has established the following guidelines on training, instruction and information for all University employees with respect to workplace security:

All University employees, including managers and supervisors, shall be provided the opportunity for periodic training and instruction on general and job-specific campus workplace security practices. Training and instruction will be available to all new employees and to other employees for whom training has not previously been provided and to all employees, supervisors and managers given new job assignments for which specific workplace security training for that job assignment has not previously been provided. Additional training and instruction will be provided to appropriate campus personnel whenever the University is made aware of new or previously unrecognized security hazards. Information on workplace security and safe work practices, including this program, will be provided periodically and updated as necessary.

General campus workplace security training and instruction includes such things as:

         Explanation of California State University, Chico's Workplace Security Guidelines, including measures for reporting any violent acts or threats of violence.

         Recognition of workplace security hazards, including the risk factors associated with the three types of workplace violence.

         Measures to prevent workplace violence, including procedures for reporting workplace security hazards or threats to managers and supervisors.

         Ways to defuse hostile or threatening situations.

         Measures to summon others for assistance.

         Employee escape routes.

         Notification to police when a criminal act may have occurred.

         Emergency medical care availability in the event of any violent act upon a University employee; and

         Post-event trauma counseling for those employees desiring such assistance through Faculty and Staff Assistance.

Upon request of the supervisor and/or employee, California State University, Chico provides specific instructions to campus employees regarding workplace security hazards that may be unique to their job assignments, to the extent that such information was not already covered in other training.

California State University, Chico has chosen the following items for Type I training and instruction for managers, supervisors and employees:

         Crime awareness.

         Location and operation of campus alarm systems.

         Communication procedures.

         Proper work practices for specific campus workplace activities, occupations or assignments.

California State University, Chico has chosen the following items for Type II training and instruction for campus managers, supervisors and employees:

         Self-protection.

         Dealing with angry, hostile or threatening individuals.

         Location, operation, care, and maintenance of campus alarm systems and other protective devices.

         Communication procedures.

         Determination of when to use the "buddy system" or other assistance from co-employees.

         Awareness of indicators that lead to violent acts by persons receiving campus goods or services.

         Awareness of state laws (e.g., Penal Code) prohibiting disruption of a CSU campus, the possession of weapons on campus, and so forth.

California State University, Chico has chosen the following items for Type III training and instruction for campus managers, supervisors and employees:

         Pre-employment screening practices.

         Faculty and Staff Assistance Program.

         Awareness of situational indicators that lead to violent acts.

         Awareness of state laws (e.g., Penal Code) prohibiting disruption of a CSU campus, or the possession of weapons on campus, and so forth.

         Managing with respect and consideration for employee well-being.

         Review of anti-violence guidelines and procedures.


Record Keeping

California State University, Chico has taken the following steps to implement and maintain its Workplace Security Program:

         Records of University workplace security review, including the person(s) conducting the inspection, the unsafe conditions and work practices that have been identified and the action taken to correct the identified unsafe conditions and work practices are recorded on a hazard assessment and correction form

         Documentation of security training for each University employee, including the employee's name or other identifier, training dates, type(s) of training, and training providers.


Location of Records

Inspection records maintained by the University pursuant to its Workplace Security Program are kept at the office of:

         Director of Environmental Management, Health and Safety
Aymer J. Hamilton Hall 127, Extension 5126

Training records will be kept by:

         Director of Environmental Management, Health and Safety
Aymer J. Hamilton Hall 127, Extension 5126

and under the control of the following University official:

         Vice President for Business and Administration
Kendall Hall 107, Extension 5101


Special thanks and acknowledgments to the following references:

California State University, Office of the Chancellor (1996). "Chancellor's Office Security Guidelines."

Dickerson, Jaffe D. , Esq., Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff, Tichy & Mathiason (1995). "Terror and Violence in the Workplace: How Safe is Your Campus? Special Problems and Solutions for the California State University Campuses."

Kinney, Joseph A., Johnson, Dennis L. Ph.D., (1993). "Breaking Point: The Workplace Violence Epidemic and What to Do About It." National Safe Workplace Institute.

Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff, Tichy & Mathiason, (1994). "Combating Workplace Violence: The New California Requirements." Task Force Report.

Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff, Tichy & Mathiason, (1995). "Terror and Violence in the Workplace." (2nd ed.) [Handbook].

McNamara, Joseph D., Ph.D., Neer, Thomas, M., Dvoskin, Joel A., Ph.D., Hirschfeld, Stephen H., J.D. (1996). UCSF. "Assessing and Preventing Workplace Violence."

Siegel, D. (1994). "Campuses Respond to Violent Tragedy." American Council On Education: Series on Higher Education. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

The Workplace Violence Research Institute. (1994). "The Complete Workplace Violence Prevention Manual."