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Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Policy

This sample policy was developed by a financial-services company. It includes emergency procedures as well as an explanation of the responsibilities of HR, managers, and employees.

September 18, 2003

The following highlights prohibited conduct, workplace violence responses,and the responsibilities of employees, managers and the HR department. It waswritten for a bank.

    The Bank strives to maintain a productive work environment free of violenceand the threat of violence. We are committed to the safety of our employees,vendors, customers and visitors. To ensure a safe workplace, and to reduce therisk of violence, all employees should review and understand all provisions ofthis Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Policy.

Our Violence Prevention Policy
   
The Bank does not tolerate any type of workplace violence committed by oragainst employees. Any threats or acts of violence against an employee, vendorcustomer, visitor or property will not be tolerated. Any employee determined tohave committed such acts will be subject to disciplinary action, up to andincluding termination from the Bank. Where appropriate, the Bank will reportviolent incidents to local law enforcement authorities.

    A violent act/threat of violence is defined as any direct or indirect actionor behavior that could be interpreted, in light of known facts, circumstancesand information, by a reasonable person, as indicating the potential to harm,endanger or inflict pain or injury on any person or property.

    This list of behaviors, while not inclusive, provides examples of prohibitedconduct: 

  • physical assault, threat to assault or stalking an employee or customer;
  • possessing or threatening with a weapon;
  • intentionally damaging property of the Bank or personal property ofanother;
  • aggressive or hostile behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury toanother person;
  • harassing or intimidating statements, phone calls, voice mails, or e-mailmessages, or those which are unwanted or deemed offensive by the receiver;
  • racial or cultural epithets or other derogatory remarks associated withhate crime threats.

    Any questions about what constitutes violent behavior should be directed toyour Employee Relations Specialist.

Our Weapons Policy
    The possession, transfer, sale or use of weapons or dangerousinstruments as defined below (even if licensed to carry a weapon) or any paraphernaliaassociated with such a weapon, is prohibited on Bank-owned or leased premises.This includes, but is not limited to, parking lots, personal cars,Bank-sponsored events, and Bank-owned cars.

    Possession of weapons is prohibited at any time while conducting Bankbusiness, except as may be required as a condition of employment. Violation ofthis policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.Where appropriate, the Bank will report the transfer, sale, or use of weapons ordangerous instruments to the local law enforcement authorities.

    A weapon is defined as any:

  • firearm (including a BB gun, whether loaded or unloaded);
  • knife, (including a switchblade or other knife having an automatic springrelease device);
  • stiletto (excluding a small pen or pocket knife);
  • police baton or nightstick;
  • any other martial arts weapons; or
  • electronic defense weapons.

    A dangerous instrument is defined as any instrument, article or substancethat, under the immediate circumstances, is capable of causing death or physicalinjury.

    Any employee that has a question as to whether an instrument, article orsubstance is considered a weapon or dangerous instrument in violation of thispolicy should ask for clarification from their supervisor, manager or EmployeeRelations Specialist prior to bringing the instrument, article or substance onBank-owned or leased premises.

    Exceptions to the weapons policy must be approved beforehand by seniormanagement. Any weapon or dangerous instrument on Bank-owned or leased premisesmay be confiscated. There is no reasonable exception of privacy with respect tosuch items in the workplace. Employees’ desks, workstations, offices and filesmay be subject to security searches.

Workplace Violence Response Procedure

Emergencies -- A situation is considered an emergency if:

  • An injury has occurred; or
  • There is an immediate threat of physical harm or injury.

    In an emergency, consider your personal safety first. If possible, follow thesteps below:

Step 1 -- Call 911, if appropriate.

Step 2 -- Call the Workplace Violence Hotline at __________.

Step 3 -- Notify your supervisor or manager.

Non-emergencies -- A situation is considered a non-emergency if:

  • No injury has occurred;
  • There is no immediate danger; but
  • The words or gestures of one person have induced fear of physical harm inanother person.

Procedure -- In the event of a non-emergency:

  • Notify the Workplace Violence Hotline, or
  • Place a confidential (and, if you wish, anonymous) call to the WorkplaceViolence at _______________.

Your Responsibilities

  • Refrain from threats or acts of violence against employees, customers,vendors or property.
  • Call 911 and request assistance if the situation is perceived asdangerous.
  • If an emergency, immediately call the Workplace Violence Response Hotlineat ______________ to report the incident and notify your manager or supervisor.
  • In the event of a non-emergency:

Notify the Workplace Violence Hotline at _______________, or

Place a confidential call to the Workplace Violence Prevention VoicemailBox at _____________ to report any knowledge of a real or potential violation ofthis policy as well as any suspicious or unusual behaviors of employees, vendorsor customers.

Manager’s Responsibilities

  • Enforce this policy fairly and uniformly.
  • Call 911 and request assistance if the situation is perceived asdangerous.
  • Attempt to identify and diffuse all conflicts as soon as possible withoutendangering your safety or the safety of others.
  • In the event of an emergency, immediately call the Workplace ViolenceResponse Hotline at _________________ to report the incident and notify yourmanager.
  • In the event of a non-emergency:

Notify the Workplace Violence Hotline at _________________, or

Place a confidential call to the Workplace Violence Prevention VoicemailBox at _________________ to report any knowledge of a real or potentialviolation of this policy as well as any suspicious or unusual behaviors ofemployees, vendors or customers.

  • Cooperate with Employee Relations and Security in any investigationconducted.
  • Do not attempt to challenge or disarm an armed and dangerous person.

HR Responsibilities

  • Follow the Bank’s crisis management process. This includes coordinatingwith the appropriate personnel/departments such as Security, Real EstateServices and Corporate Communications.
  • Take steps to ensure there is no reprisal towards employees who reportviolent acts.
  • Maintain confidentiality where appropriate.
  • Investigate all direct or indirect threats to determine all informationrelative to the incident.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from "Exhibit Books of PersonnelPolicies-Set II; Volume 1: Employment and Standards of Conduct," WatsonWyatt Data Services. For more information, visit http://www.wwdssurveys.com/ orcall (201) 843-1177.

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