Workplace Violence Policy

Title

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Workplace Violence Policy

Purpose

The University is committed to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment that is free from violence. Violent acts, whether on-duty or off-duty, affect individual and community physical and mental well-being, employees’ ability to perform their jobs, and students' ability to learn. The purpose of this policy is to establish preventative measures, hold perpetrators of violence accountable, and support individuals affected by Workplace Violence.

Scope of Applicability

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, visitors, or other third parties within the University’s control, regardless of appointment type. This policy applies to the conduct of an employee while functioning in the scope of employment on or off campus as well as off-duty conduct that has potential adverse impact on the University and its employees, students, clients, visitors, and vendors.

Nothing in this policy is intended to restrict any rights that would otherwise be protected from government action by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Policy

Policy Statement

It is a violation of this policy to:

  • Engage in Workplace Violence as defined by this policy;
  • Possess, use, or Threaten to use an unauthorized Weapon as defined by this policy and during a time covered by this policy;
  • Misuse authority vested in any employee of the University in such a way that it violates this policy;
  • Engage in Retaliation, as defined by this policy; and
  • Deliberately report false, misleading, or frivolous claims of Workplace Violence with the intent to harass another, or to otherwise abuse the reporting process under this policy.

Violations of this policy are considered unacceptable personal conduct as provided in applicable disciplinary policies and may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. For acts of off-duty violent conduct, department management, in consultation with the appropriate University administrative unit, must demonstrate that the disciplinary action is supported by a reasonable connection between the misconduct and the potential adverse impact on the University and its employees, students, visitors, and/or others in the University community.

Exceptions

Some employees may be required as a condition of their work assignment to possess a Weapon or are permitted to carry one as authorized by law.

An employee may possess a Weapon if possession is:

  1. In compliance with North Carolina law1;
  2. Authorized by the Chancellor or designee;
  3. Used by an employee who is a certified law enforcement officer;
  4. Required as a part of the employee’s job duties with the University; or
  5. Connected with training received by the employee in order to perform the responsibilities of their job with the University.

Reporting and Responding to Reports of Workplace Violence

Reporting

If there is an active emergency and/or immediate risk of safety to any University community member or a Threat to University property, individuals must immediately dial 911 and/or contact UNC Police.

Individuals should report any incident or potential incident of Workplace Violence to UNC Police, their supervisor, and/or the Employee and Management Relations team in the Office of Human Resources as soon as it is safe to do so.

Supervisors who receive reports of Workplace Violence must then notify the Employee and Management Relations Team in the Office of Human Resources or the University’s Workplace Violence Officer.

If the incident in question involves a potential violation of the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX or the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct, individuals may report directly to the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.

Threat Assessment

The Employee Threat Assessment and Response Team (ETART) is a threat assessment and threat management team that will assess and respond to immediate and potential acts of Workplace Violence. ETART is composed of a core group of multi-disciplinary representatives from across campus who analyze potentially threatening situations and advise administrators as to recommended courses of action to mitigate risk. The team is responsible for conducting thorough assessments of threat reports, determining appropriate responses, tracking and reporting Workplace Violence information, and conducting related training.

Investigation and Other Responses

Reports of violations of this policy may be assessed by ETART and other University administrators for the appropriate response. University management will assess the situation and direct immediate action as needed. Possible immediate actions include coordination with law enforcement and emergency services personnel, internal communications within the University, and/or communication with family members and/or media, as appropriate.

Some reports of misconduct may be investigated, while other reports may entail providing informal resolutions to individuals and/or units such as training, support, and resources.

Reports of misconduct that fall under the University’s Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX and Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct will be addressed by the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office. This would include reports of Stalking, Domestic Violence, and harassment (including Bullying, Cyber-bullying and Threats) based on age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Support and Resources

The University will assist employees affected by Workplace Violence by offering available and reasonable security measures and will work with their managers to address their needs and enhance their safety. Managers must work with the Office of Human Resources to consider and develop reasonable and feasible adjustments to employee work schedules, locations, and/or working conditions when appropriate. Such adjustments could include leave time for medical, court, or counseling appointments related to trauma and/or victimization. 

Management must also work with the Office of Human Resources to help facilitate support and resources for employees affected by Workplace Violence. Resources and support available to such employees are:

Prevention and Management

The University's Workplace Violent Officer or designee is responsible for the overall implementation of a Workplace Violence prevention and management program and will collaborate with campus administrators and units to develop and operationalize a Workplace Violence prevention and management plan. The plan will include the development and delivery of training for members of the campus community regarding violence prevention and response.

Privacy

Subject to the federal and state privacy laws relating to student and personnel information as well as state public records laws, information provided in relation to reports under this Policy will be kept private. This means that information related to a report under this policy will only be shared with those individuals who need to know in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report. Individuals who receive such information will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process.

Definitions

Bullying is unwanted offensive and malicious behavior that undermines an individual or group through persistently negative attacks. The behavior generally includes an element of vindictiveness and is intended to undermine, patronize, humiliate, intimidate, or demean the recipient. The behavior typically is severe, pervasive, or persistent, creating a hostile work environment.

Cyberbullying occurs when an individual uses technology (e.g., the internet, cell phones, emails, IMs, text messages, blogs, pictures, videos, social media posts) to intentionally harm others through hostile behavior, as well as Threatening, disrespectful, demeaning, or intimidating messages.

Domestic Violence is the use of abusive or violent behavior, including Threats and Intimidation, between people who have an ongoing or a prior intimate relationship. This could include people who are married, divorced, separated, living or lived together, or currently or previously dated. See also the University’s definitions of Dating Violence and Domestic Violence in the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX and definition of Interpersonal Violence in the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct.

Intimidation is engaging in actions that include but are not limited to behavior intended to frighten, coerce, or induce duress.

Physical Attack is unwanted or hostile physical contact including but not limited to hitting, fighting, pushing, shoving, restraining, or throwing objects.

Property Damage is intentional damage to property and includes property owned by the University or by employees, students, clients, visitors, or vendors.

Retaliation is any adverse action or attempted action that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity. Protected activity includes an individual's actual or perceived participation in the reporting, investigation, or resolution of an alleged violation of this policy.

Stalking involves harassing or pestering an individual in person, in writing, by telephone or through electronic format. Stalking also involves following an individual, spying on them, intentionally alarming the recipient, or intentionally causing them distress and may involve violence or the fear of violence. See also, the University’s definition of Stalking in the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct and the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX.

Threat (or Threatening) is the expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm. An expression constitutes a Threat without regard to whether the party communicating the Threat has the present ability to carry out the Threat and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional, or future.

Weapon is a device, instrument, material, or substance used to or capable of causing death, bodily injury, or damage to property. Weapons include but are not limited to: an explosive; a device principally designed, made or adapted for delivering or shooting an explosive, chemical, biological, or radiological Weapon; a firearm such as a machine gun, rifle, shotgun, or handgun; a firearm silencer; a sharp object such as a knife or other blade; or any other device used for the infliction of or Threat of bodily injury, damage to property, or death.

Workplace Violence includes, but is not limited to: Intimidation, Bullying, Cyberbullying, Stalking, Threats, Physical Attacks, Domestic Violence, or Property Damage. This includes acts of violence committed by University employees, visitors, contractors, or other third parties within the University’s control.

Related Requirements

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

External Regulations and Consequences

  • Title 29 of the CFR, Part 1910 – Code of Federal Regulations, Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina
  • North Carolina Office of State Human Resources - SHRA Disciplinary Action Policy
  • North Carolina Office of State Human Resources – Workplace Violence Policy
  • North Carolina General Statute 14.269.2

Footnotes

1. See North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.2. Weapons on Campus or Other Educational Property.

Contact Information and Resources

Policy Contacts

Angenette McAdoo
Senior Director
Employee & Management Relations, OHR
Angenette_McAdoo@unc.edu
919-962-9638

Other Contacts

Employee & Management Relations (Main Line)
919-843-3444
emr@unc.edu

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
1-877-314-5841

UNC Police (General Line)
919-962-3951

UNC Emergency Hotline
919-843-1234

Police
911

Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
919.966.3576
eoc@unc.edu

Details

Article ID: 131839
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:17 PM
Modified
Mon 8/29/22 3:27 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
08/29/2022 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
08/29/2022 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
08/29/2022 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
08/29/2023 12:00 AM
Origination
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
08/01/1995 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Office of Human Resources