Preventing Threatening or Violent Behavior in the Workplace
In order to ensure the safety and security of the workplace, the University strictly prohibits violence or threatening behavior. Anyone who engages in any violence in the workplace or in threats of violence or threatening behavior is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment and, in the case of an employee who also is a student at the University, additional student disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. The University may, as it deems appropriate, seek legal sanctions against violators.
Prohibited behavior includes but is not limited to hitting, shoving, sexual assault, attacks, stalking, verbal or non-verbal threats, electronically communicated threats or threatening behavior, vandalism, arson and possession, use or threatened use of a weapon of any type.
Workplace Security Measures
To fulfill this commitment to a safe work environment for all, the following is University policy:
- Access to the University's property is limited to those with legitimate interest.
- All students, staff and faculty on or in the vicinity of the University's premises must display NYU identification on the request of the Office of Public Safety personnel, faculty, administrators or other authorized personnel.
- All visitors must produce and display identification while on the University's premises upon the request of the Office of Public Safety or other authorized personnel.
- The University reserves the right to enter and inspect its property and work areas under appropriate circumstances.
The University specifically prohibits the possession of weapons by any employee or student while on, or in the vicinity of, University owned or controlled premises, regardless of whether the owner is licensed to carry such weapon. This ban includes keeping a weapon or transporting it to another location. Employees are also prohibited from carrying a weapon while performing services for the University on or off University premises. Faculty, students, staff and visitors who are licensed to carry a firearm are prohibited from carrying such firearm without the express written permission of the Office of Public Safety.
Weapons may include but are not limited to guns, knives, explosives, and like or similar items with the potential to inflict physical harm. Included are disarmed weapons and simulated weapons which could reasonably cause apprehension. Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination and expulsion in the case of an employee who also is a student, will be taken against any employee who violates this policy.
Reporting Violence or Threatening Behavior
All employees have the responsibility to report threatening or violent behavior, whether that behavior is exhibited by a member of the University faculty, administrators, staff, student body or a visitor. Employees should contact one of the following at once:
- Office of Public Safety ext. 8-2222
- Department Head or Manager
- Human Resources Officer
- Office of Employee Relations, Division of Human Resources ext. 8-1268
Whichever office receives the complaint first must insure that the other three offices are informed as soon as possible. The HR Officer will notify the Office of Employee Relations and, working with that office, decide what steps are needed to address the problem and what other resources (e.g. Office of Public Safety, Employee Assistance Program) are appropriate to manage the incident.
In an emergency where you believe someone to be in imminent danger, contact 911 at once and then notify the Office of Public Safety at ext. 8-2222.
The Role of the Employee Assistance Program:
In the event of a major workplace incident that affects or has the potential to affect the mental health of University employees, the University provides initial counseling and support services through the Employee Assistance Program, powered by Optum. This service is available to faculty and employees and their immediate family members and the toll-free number is 888-980-8740.
All employees have responsibility for reporting any violent or threatening behavior to a supervisor or HR Officer at once. The University also encourages employees to contact their Human Resources Officer and/or the Employee Assistance Program that help them to learn about working with each other, communication, problem solving, building effective working relationships, stress management and other related topics.
Role of the Supervisor
Supervisors in particular have the responsibility to learn to recognize the early signs of hostile, potentially threatening behavior and to take appropriate preventive action. Ignoring early signs can be mistaken as approval of the behavior and can lead to escalation.
Below are signs that may indicate potential for violence:
- Frequent, angry outbursts; difficulty controlling temper.
- Expression by the employee that others are out to get him or take his job; chronically disgruntled.
- Recent isolation of employee from co-workers; unusually poor social skills.
- Rash, impulsive behavior without apparent forethought.
- Acute sensitivity to criticism; blaming others when things go wrong.
- Bragging about past acts of violence; fascination with firearms or violence.
- Impaired judgment and performance; mood swings.
- Acutely hostile reaction to discipline or employment termination.
Supervisors are not expected to be expert in detecting the potential for violence and should contact the Office of Employee Relations, Human Resources Division at 81290.
Employee Assistance Program
The University provides an Employee Assistance Program to all full-time and part-time employees and their immediate families. Employees are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program, powered by Optum whenever they feel the need for guidance in coping with life's difficulties. Supervisors are also encouraged to turn to Optum for help in interpreting troubling behavior in the workplace and for guidance on how to refer a troubled employee to Optum for help.
The Employee Assitance Program, powered by Optum can provide resources as well as referrals to mental health counseling, if appropriate. The service is completely confidential.*
*NYU will not be informed if you call the EAP or view information online. All communication is kept confidential except in the circumstances of potential harm to self or others.
About This Policy
Effective Date Supersedes April 1, 2000 Issuing Authority Office of Human Resources Responsible Officer Vice President