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Work Place Violence

It is the Southern University System's Policy to promote a safe environment for its employees. Southern University is committed to working with its employees to maintain a work environment free from violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior. While this kind of conduct is not pervasive at Southern University, no employer is immune. Every employer may be affected by disruptive behavior at one time or another.

Violence, threats, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior in our workplace will not be tolerated; that is, all reports of incidents will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately. Such behavior can include oral or written statements, gestures, or expressions that communicate a direct or indirect threat of physical harm. Individuals who commit such acts may be removed from the University's premises and will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined elsewhere in this handbook; criminal penalties, or both.

We need your cooperation to implement this policy effectively and maintain a safe working environment. Do not ignore violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or other disruptive behavior. If you observe or experience such behavior by anyone on the Southern University System's premises, whether he or she is a Southern University employee or not, report it immediately to a supervisor or department head. Supervisors and department heads who receive such reports should seek advice from the respective Human Resource Services office regarding investigating the incident and initiating appropriate action. Threats or assaults that require immediate attention by security or police should be reported first to the respective campus police office on campus or to the police at 911.

The University will support all efforts made by supervisors and university specialists in dealing with violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating or other disruptive behavior in our workplace and will monitor whether this policy is being implemented effectively. You should contact your respective Human Resource Services office with any questions.

No one can predict human behavior and there is no specific "profile" of a potentially dangerous individual. But, indicators of increased risk of violent behavior are available. These indicators have been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center For The Analysis of Violent Crime, Profiling and Behavioral Assessment Unit in its analysis of past incidents of workplace violence. These are some of the indicators:

  • Direct or veiled threats of harm;
  • Intimidating, belligerent, harassing, bulling, and/or other inappropriate and aggressive behavior;
  • Numerous conflicts with supervisors and other employees;
  • Bringing a weapon to the workplace, brandishing a weapon in the workplace, making inappropriate references to guns, or fascination with weapons;
  • Statements showing fascination with incidents of workplace violence, statements indicating approval of the use of violence to resolve a problem, or statements indicating identification with perpetrators of workplace homicides;
  • Statement indicating desperation (over family, financial, and other personal problems) to the point of contemplating suicide;
  • Drug/Alcohol abuse; and
  • Extreme changes in behaviors.

Each of these behaviors is a clear sign that something is wrong. None should be ignored.