University of Missouri Workplace Violence Policy

0.0 Contents

 1.0 Scope

2.0 Policy Statements

3.0 Administrative Commitment and Responsibilities

4.0 MU Libraries Employee Responsibilities

5.0 Security Responsibilities

6.0 Appendix I

7.0 Appendix II (HR 517 Ė Violence in the Workplace)

 1.0 SCOPE 

1.1 This policy applies to all MU Libraries employees, faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors while on the premises of any of the MU Libraries. 

1.2 In addition, this policy covers MU Libraries employees when working in an official capacity. 

1.3 The MU Libraries also maintains a policy on responding to disruptive patrons (see Policy #44). 

 2.0 Policy Statement 

2.1 The MU Libraries promotes a safe environment for all MU Libraries employees, patrons, and visitors, and works with employees to maintain a work environment that is free from violence, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior. 

2.2 Violence or threat of violence is unacceptable behavior, will not be tolerated, and will lead to disciplinary action that may include progressive discipline, dismissal, arrest, and/or prosecution.  


3.1 MU Libraries Administration is committed to the prevention of workplace violence and will promote the education and discussion of this policy so that all employees will understand how to handle intimidating, threatening, or violent incidents as well as the consequences of such behavior. 

3.2 In order to support a work environment in which violent or potentially violent situations are effectively addressed, Libraries Administration will focus on prevention by increasing employee understanding of the nature of workplace violence, how to respond to it, and how to prevent it. To this end, Libraries Administration is responsible for: 

3.2.1 informing employees of the MU Libraries workplace violence policy and program; 

3.2.2 taking all reported incidents of workplace violence seriously; 

3.2.3 investigating all acts of violence, threats, and similar disruptive behavior in a timely fashion and taking necessary action(s); 

3.2.4 providing feedback to employees regarding the outcome of their reports regarding violent or potentially violent incidents; 

3.2.5 being cognizant of situations that have the potential to produce violent behavior and promptly addressing them with all concerned parties; 

3.2.6 assuring that employees have time and opportunity to attend training, e.g., conflict resolutions, stress management, etc. 

3.2.7 assuring that employees have time and opportunity to attend post-event counseling, if recommended by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist. Leave time will follow current MU policies and procedures. 


4.1 Subsequent to the Libraries Administrationís responsibility to ensure the dissemination of training materials and conducting training sessions, it will be the responsibility of all employees to review and understand this policy and subsequent materials applicable to this policy. 

4.2 MU Libraries employees will, with the approval of their supervisors, attend training courses designed to assist them in dealing with situations that may lead to potential violence, e.g., conflict resolution, stress management, etc. 

4.3 All MU Libraries employees are responsible for: 

4.3.1 their own behavior by acting responsibly with fellow employees, supervisors, and patrons; 

4.3.2 promptly reporting actual and/or potential acts of violence to their supervisors or, if the situation warrants, to security or MU Police Department (MUPD); 

4.3.3 cooperating fully in investigations of allegations of workplace violence; 

4.3.4 informing appropriate personnel (e.g., supervisor, division head, and security) about restraining or protective court orders related to domestic situations so that assistance can be offered at the work site.  


5.1 The security staff will serve as the in-house experts on workplace violence issues by the following courses of action: 

5.1.1 maintaining a close liaison with MUPD; 

5.1.2 identify and attend related training sessions for professional development; 

5.2 Schedule and conduct or identify and coordinate related training sessions for employees as directed by MU Libraries Administration. Attendance will be voluntary, but encouraged. 

5.3 When made aware of potential workplace violence situations, Security will: 

5.3.1 assist with or conduct investigations of threats or incidents of violence; 

5.3.2 help to defuse violent or potentially violent situations; 

5.3.3 determine the appropriate course of action.  

Sponsor: Robert A. Almony, Jr.

Approved by Library Council and Director of Libraries: November 15, 2001  

6.0 Appendix I  

Nature of Workplace Violence

Workplace violence can occur among co-workers. Additionally, incidents of workplace violence can be perpetrated by individuals from outside the workplace and include situations such as domestic violence, bomb threats, and violence by patrons.

To determine whether or not a particular workplace situation is potentially violent is difficult since it is an emotional and complex topic involving several factors, including: 

Actual threats are to be taken seriously and responded to immediately. Although workplace homicide receives the most attention, there are far more incidents of violence that do not involve casualties but have the same traumatic effect. These include: 

Other forms of workplace violence may include acts of domestic violence, which accounts for 27% of violent events in the workplace. If the victim has sought shelter or a restraining order, the workplace is frequently the place s/he can be found. A perpetrator may show up at the workplace to commit acts of violence against a partner or anyone trying to protect that person. 

Recognizing and Responding to Workplace Violence

Recognizing potential violent situations among employees is critical to efforts to defuse an incident. This may often be a subjective call since it does require making a judgment based on discernment and evaluation of a given situation. 

Early warning signs may include:

An escalation of a situation may cause the perpetrator to:

Further escalation results in an emergency situation involving:

The response to a potential or actual violent situation is, again, a judgement call. If an individual is being verbally abusive, notifying the supervisor and the subsequent corrective action by the supervisor may suffice. Escalation may require more drastic measures. It should be emphasized, however, that if an employee in any way feels uncomfortable or threatened, s/he should not hesitate to call Ellis Security or 911.

Prevention of Workplace Violence

Familiarity with this policy is an important step in preventing workplace violence. All employees must understand this policy and be aware of:

7.0 Appendix II 

University of Missouri-System

HR Policy Manual - Workplace Section

HR 517 - Violence in the Workplace 


The University of Missouri strives to provide a safe and secure work environment for all employees. Toward this end, intimidation, threats and acts of violence, with or without the presence of a weapon, will not be tolerated. Individuals found to engage in behavior in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination. 


For purposes of this policy: 1) Workplace environment is defined as all University facilities or other locations where an employee is engaged in University business. 2) Employee is defined as faculty, staff and student employees. 3) Intimidation is defined as an act towards another person, the result of which could reasonably cause the other person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others. 4) Threats of violence are defined as a communicated intent to inflict physical or other harm to any person or to property. 5) Violence is defined as the deliberate and wrongful abuse or damage of other persons, self, or property.


Employees who are the victims of violence, believe they may be the recipients of violence, or who have knowledge of potential violence against others, are encouraged to promptly notify an appropriate administrator, University police and/or Human Resources.  


HR 505 Personal Conduct, HR 508 Drugs/Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace, HR 510 Sexual Harassment.  

 Date Created: 07/01/2001

Last Updated: 07/01/2001

Source:  University of Missouri