Commonwealth of Virginia


Department of Human Resource Management
Policies and Procedures Manual

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Policy Number: 1.80 - Workplace Violence
Efft. Date: 5/01/02

Application:  Full-time and part-time classified, “at will” and hourly employees.


To establish a procedure that prohibits violence in the workplace.


Third Parties

Individuals who are not state employees, such as relatives, acquaintances, or strangers.


Any location, either permanent or temporary, where an employee performs any work-related duty. This includes, but is not limited to, the buildings and the surrounding perimeters, including the parking lots, field locations, alternate work locations, and travel to and from work assignments.

Workplace Violence

Any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the workplace by employees or third parties. It includes, but is not limited to, beating, stabbing, suicide, shooting, rape, attempted suicide, psychological trauma such as threats, obscene phone calls, an intimidating presence, and harassment of any nature such as stalking, shouting or swearing.

Prohibited actions

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • injuring another person physically;
  • engaging in behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person;
  • engaging in behavior that subjects another individual to extreme emotional distress;
  • possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon that is not required by the individual’s position while on state premises or engaged in state business;
  • intentionally damaging property;
  • threatening to injure an individual or to damage property;
  • committing injurious acts motivated by, or related to, domestic violence or sexual harassment; and
  • retaliating against any employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of this policy.

Note: Employees may be authorized by their agencies to possess weapons in the workplace if they are required as a part of employees’ job duties with the Commonwealth.

Policy Violations

Employees violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under Policy 1.60, Standards of Conduct, up to and including termination, based on the situation.

Violent acts of employees occurring outside the workplace also may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. In these situations, the agency must demonstrate in writing that the violent conduct committed has an adverse impact on the employee’s ability to perform the assigned duties and responsibilities or that it undermines the effectiveness of the agency’s activities.

Agency responsibilities

Agency Procedures

Each agency is expected to create and maintain a workplace designed to prevent or deter workplace violence through the development of agency policies and procedures that articulate how this policy will be implemented in their agency. At a minimum, each agency must:

  • communicate a policy statement prohibiting workplace violence, and agency procedures for addressing such situations;
  • designate a coordinator to be responsible for the overall implementation of a workplace violence prevention program;
  • assess the agency’s vulnerability for workplace violence (threat assessment);
  • develop and implement a plan to address and prevent workplace violence (crisis management plan);
  • establish a mechanism for employees to report threats that protects the safety and anonymity of anyone who comes forward with concerns about a threat or act of violence;
  • protect victims of workplace violence;
  • provide for the training of supervisors and managers in recognizing conditions that might contribute to workplace violence, and to properly address and respond to these situations;
  • provide training to employees about recognizing and responding to potentially violent or violent situations in the workplace;
  • establish relationships with appropriate supportive services that may need to be contacted in response to workplace violence; and
  • provide information to employees about resources and services available to them in response to workplace violence, and the potential for domestic violence to enter the workplace.

DHRM responsibilities

The Department of Human Resource Management will:

  • provide periodic training for agency coordinators in workplace violence prevention and management,
  • provide periodic training for agency supervisors and employees on workplace violence, and
  • assist agencies with development of their workplace violence programs and plans.


The Department of Human Resource Management issues this policy pursuant to the authority provided in Chapter 10, Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.


The Director of the Department of Human Resource Management is responsible for official interpretation of this policy, in accordance with § 2.2-1201(13) of the Code of Virginia.

Questions regarding the application of this policy should be directed to the Department of Human Resource Management’s Office of Compensation and Policy or the Office of Equal Employment Services.

The Department of Human Resource Management reserves the right to revise or eliminate this policy.