Violence in the Workplace

Title: Violence in the Workplace
Approved by
Date Approved:
Effective Date: 07/01/2017
Responsible Official: Executive Director of Public Safety and Vice President of Human Resources
Responsible University OfficeDivision of Public Safety and HR Employee Relations
Revision History: 07/01/2017; 11/28/2022
Related Legislation and University Policies
Review Period: 5 years
Date of Last Review: 11/28/2022
Relates to: faculty, executive staff, senior staff, staff, term employees, student employees, temporary employees, term employees, postdoctoral scholars, postdoctoral fellows, research scholars, research fellows, independent contractors, and vendors

Policy Statement

The university is committed to providing an environment that is safe, secure, and free from violence or any related disruptive conduct. The university has adopted the following guidelines to deal with intimidation, harassment, and other threats of or actual violence that may occur onsite or offsite during work-related activities.

Prohibited Conduct

  1. All employees, customers, vendors, and business associates should be treated with courtesy and respect at all times.
  2. Employees are expected to refrain from fighting, “horseplay,” or other conduct that may be dangerous to others.
  3. Conduct that threatens, intimidates, or coerces another employee, customer, vendor, or business associate will not be tolerated.  
  4. Conduct or behavior that creates a climate of violence, hostility, or intimidation will not be tolerated. Threatening harm, intimidation, or physically aggressive conduct toward any member of the university community is prohibited. 
  5. University resources, including computers, may not be used to threaten, stalk, or harass employees at or outside the workplace.

Weapons on Campus

  1. The use, possession, or handling of weapons in the workplace is a violation of this policy. Weapons are not permitted in any university-owned or controlled buildings.
  2. Weapons are also not permitted anywhere on campus, with one exception: In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 2923.1210 and Ohio Revised Code 2923.111, persons may keep a handgun and/or ammunition securely locked in the person’s privately owned vehicle only under the following conditions:  
    1. The vehicle is parked legally and in an authorized area – that is, in a location or lot where it is otherwise permitted to be; and  
    2. Each handgun and all ammunition remains inside the person’s privately owned motor vehicle while the person is physically present inside the motor vehicle in accordance with Ohio law. When the individual is not physically present in the privately owned vehicle, each handgun and all of the ammunition is securely locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the person’s privately owned motor vehicle.


  1. Employees who experience, observe, or become aware of acts of violence or threats of acts of violence must report such conduct to either Police and Security Services at 216-368-3333 or the Department of Human Resources at 216-368-6964. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that circumstances permit.  
  2. Employees who are concerned about potentially violent behavior of co-workers should report their concerns to their supervisor and/or the Department of Human Resources at or 216-368-6964.
  3. Supervisors must notify the Department of Public Safety of all reports of potential workplace violence that are currently occurring, and later report them to the Department of Human Resources for investigation.
  4. If employees observe or have knowledge of another person in possession of a weapon, including, but not limited to, firearms, ammunition or any other instruments, devices or substances designed, intended or used to inflict harm upon persons or property in violation of this policy, they should report it to Police and Security Services.

Safety on Campus

Police and Security offers the following services:

  1. Walking escort services are available to and/or from buildings seven (7) days a week, 24 hours a day. In order to minimize delay in response to such requests, employees should notify Police and Security at 216-368-3300 in advance of their need for an escort.  
  2. Safe Ride, the university’s Shuttle Bus Service, carries students, faculty, and staff around campus and part of University Circle seven (7) days a week between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. CWRU security officers drive all Safe Ride vehicles. Employees should request a safe ride by visiting, calling 216-368-3000, or downloading the free smartphone Ride Cell app and signing in with your CWRU ID and password to activate.
  3. Employees who are, or maybe the victim of domestic violence, may notify Police and Security with concerns. Employees are also encouraged to seek additional consultation and assistance from the university’s employee assistance and work-life provider. Employees can find information about the employee assistance provider at Employee Assistance Program Page.
  4. Employees may consult with the employee assistance provider or Police and Security regarding self-defense education, active shooter response, and other resources.  
  5. Employees may download Spartan Safe, a free smartphone application that helps Police and Security respond to emergency situations quickly and accurately by locating the caller’s approximate internal building location using Wi-Fi. More information about Spartan Safe can be found at
  6. Employees are encouraged to notify Police and Security when working unusual hours or when working in an isolated place with which the employees are not familiar.

Upon notification of situations involving workplace violence, Police and Security and the Department of Human Resources will develop and implement an appropriate action plan.