Policy GBGB: Violence in the Workplace

PERSONNEL: VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

The School Districts have a zero tolerance policy for workplace violence and are committed to providing an environment free of weapons and dangerous instruments, to minimizing the risk of violence in the workplace, and to responding appropriately should it happen. The Districts will take reasonable steps to protect employees, students, and visitors from potential violence when it has advance notice from a reliable source that such violence is a possibility.

The Districts prohibit violent acts, harassment, intimidation, threats, assaults, or similar behaviors on District properties. Where appropriate, the Districts will take action related to threats or acts of violence that occur off company premises. Forms of violence include: 

  • Physical shoving, inappropriate touching, hitting, destruction of property, sabotage, stalking or homicide
  • Verbal threats, inappropriate remarks, threats of destruction of personal or District property
  • Visual threatening or abusive body gestures
  • Written notes, letters, cartoons, graffiti, digital/social media
  • Sexual Harassment (creating a sexually threatening environment as defined in Policy GBAA)

Even without an actual threat, employees should immediately report any behavior they have witnessed that they regard as threatening or violent, when that behavior is job related or might be carried out on a district controlled site or is connected to district employment. Employees are expected, but not mandated, to make this report regardless of the relationship between the individual who initiated the threat or threatening behavior and the person(s) who were threatened or were the focus of the threatening behavior. If the employee’s supervisor is not available, the employee should report the threat to another supervisor or another member of the leadership team.  Any such report will be recorded and investigated as appropriate.

Any person who makes substantial threats, exhibits threatening behavior, or engages in violent acts on District property will immediately be removed from the premises and will not be allowed on District premises pending the outcome of an investigation. In the event that an investigation shows that this policy has been violated, the Districts will take appropriate action, which may include, but is not limited to, suspension and or termination of any business relationship, reassignment of job duties, suspension or termination of employment, and/or criminal prosecution of the person(s) involved. 

If it has been determined that an employee/individual should not be allowed in a work area, and he/she refuses to leave, local law enforcement will be contacted to escort the employee/individual off the property.

If the Districts become aware of acts or threats of violence occurring off District premises in violation of this policy, an investigation will be conducted and an appropriate response initiated. Where an employee has reportedly engaged in such behavior off District premises, the District may choose to place an employee on administrative leave and/or suspend the employee pending an investigation into the circumstances of the alleged behavior. If, in the sole judgment of the Districts, it is determined that the employee’s conduct violated any terms of this policy, that employee may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.

Employees who have obtained a restraining order against another person are encouraged to notify their Supervisor and/or the Director of Human Resources so that Districts may take whatever steps are necessary to avoid violation of the restraining order on district premises. The Districts will make every effort to keep this information confidential to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances.

Legal Ref: MGL 149, Section 52E
29 USC, Section 15
Chapter 284 of the Acts of 2014 

Related Policy: GBGC:  Weapons in the Workplace

Approved: Region: 3/8/2016

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