Workplace Violence and Weapons

Below is the Virginia Department of Human Resources policy in regards to workplace violence and weapons in a University setting.



POLICY NO.:     1.80

EFFT. DATE:     05/01/02



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


PURPOSE To establish a procedure that prohibits violence in the workplace.
Third  Parties Individuals who  are  not  state  employees, such  as  relatives, acquaintances, or strangers.
Workplace 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 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.


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 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.


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.


AUTHORITY: 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.


INTERPRETATION:  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.

RELATED  POLICIES              Policy 1.60, Standards of Conduct

Policy 2.30, Workplace Harassment