Workplace Violence

Policy No: 
5.2
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
April 2004
Last Revised: 
April 2017
Review Date: 
April 2020
Policy Owner: 
Security and Police
Contact Name: 
Rob Connolly
Contact Title: 
Chief of Police
Contact Email: 
robert.connolly@police.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is committed to providing a workplace that is free from violence by establishing preventative measures, by holding perpetrators of violence accountable, and by providing assistance and support to victims. This procedure provides a collaborative, cross-functional approach to assessing and responding to individuals who might pose either an immediate threat to themselves or others or a less immediate threat, and establishes a Consultation and Assessment Team to evaluate and review workplace violence on campus.

Policy Statement: 

A safe and secure environment is a fundamental prerequisite for effectiveness and innovation in teaching and learning, research advances, and entrepreneurship in all sectors of society. Georgia Tech reaffirms the basic right of students, faculty, staff and visitors to a safe campus work environment. Threatening behavior or violence on the campus of Georgia Tech, satellite locations, and sanctioned functions off campus are prohibited and will not be tolerated. Violence, for the purpose of this policy includes, but is not limited to: intimidation, bullying, stalking, threatening behavior, physical attack, property damage, or domestic and family violence.

Scope: 

This policy applies to Georgia Tech students, faculty, staff, vendors, clients, and visitors.

Definitions:

Bullying

Offensive and malicious behavior that undermines an individual or group through persistently negative attacks. The behavior may include an element of vindictiveness, and is intended to undermine, patronize, humiliate, intimidate or demean the recipient.

Domestic, Relationship, and / or Family Violence

Abusive or violent behavior, including threats and intimidation, between people who have an ongoing or a prior intimate relationship (including people who are married, live together or date, or who have been married, lived together or dated) or between family members.

Intimidation

Behavior intended to frighten, coerce, or induce duress.

Physical Attack

Unwanted or hostile physical contact including, but not limited to, hitting, fighting with, shoving, restraining, or throwing objects at a person.

Property Damage

Intentional damage to property, including property owned by Georgia Tech or by employees, students, clients, visitors, or vendors.

Stalking

Following a person, placing a person under surveillance, or contacting a person for the purpose of harassment or intimidation.

Threatening Behavior

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.

Workplace Violence

Acts of violence committed by or against any individual on the campus of Georgia Tech, at satellite locations, or at sanctioned functions off campus that involve students, faculty, staff, vendors, clients, and/or visitors.

 

5.1 The Consultation and Assessment Team

Facilitators

The Consultation and Assessment Team will be facilitated by:

  • The Chief of the Georgia Tech Police Department
  • The Associate Vice President of Human Resources (for situations involving faculty and/or staff)
  • The Vice President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management

Support Team Members

The threat of or act of violence being assessed may require varying expertise and /or perspectives. Only those needed to assess and manage a specific situation will need to be included in the Team. Those who might be called upon to participate in a threat assessment include:

  • The Director of Health Services
  • The Director of the Georgia Tech Counseling Center
  • The Vice President for Legal Affairs and Risk Management
  • The Director of Environmental Health and Safety
  • The Associate Director of Residence Life
  • The Director of the Women's Resource Center
  • The Director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Any other individual with knowledge of or expertise related to the situation, as identified by the facilitator(s).

 

5.2 Threats and Acts of Violence

Immediate Threats

Any member of the Georgia Tech community observing violent or threatening behavior is expected to first secure his/her own safety and then immediately contact the Georgia Tach Police Department. If the incident occurs off campus or at satellite locations, the observer should first call 911 or the emergency number of the facility at which he/she is located. The Police Department will notify the Consultation and Assessment Team (CAT) of the facts of the event.

A facilitator with knowledge of the event(s) will determine which team members will be needed to investigate and assess the event to determine if preventive measures should be established, changed, or added. If necessary, counselors will be made available to provide stress debriefings for members of the Georgia Tech community affected by the incident.

Less Immediate Threats

When a possible threat is identified, the person who is concerned will contact the appropriate facilitator (or his/her designee). If the incident arises during non-business hours, the person who is concerned will contact any other individuals who can assist in reporting to the appropriate facilitator.

The facilitator will determine which team members are needed to assess and manage the situation, and convene those individuals. This group will assess the potential danger, explore possible outcomes of various approaches to managing the threat, and then implement a plan. Anyone with a follow-up assignment will update the team members involved via email, telephone, or in person.  Personally identifiable information should be kept to a minimum on email (i.e., use initials or refer to "the person we discussed"). After the plan is implemented, the facilitator will be responsible for coordinating follow-up to insure that the threat has been appropriately managed.

Team members must recognize and respect that there are members of the campus community and visitors who will have legal and ethical limitations on information that may be shared when discussing a concern.  It is the responsibility of each team member to exercise his or her best professional judgment in determining what information may be shared with the team.

5.1 Training and Resources

Supervisory Training

Employees who have supervisory responsibilities should receive training in the identification of and how to deal with workplace violence.  This training may include, but will not be limited to, conflict resolution, counseling and stress management. All training will emphasize the need to address workplace violence with professionalism, sensitivity, and respect for all individuals involved.

Resource Coordination

Facilitators will work to develop relationships and coordinate their procedures with relevant off-campus resources (law enforcement, hospitals, etc.) to ensure the availability of these resources when needed.

Policy Review

Facilitators will meet quarterly to review campus needs, and if indicated, facilitate the revision of policies and procedures to address workplace violence.

Responsibilities: 
Responsibilities 1. Chief of Police The Chief of Police is responsible for forming and facilitating Consultation and Assessment Teams to assess and/or manage workplace violence incidents involving individuals who are not Georgia Tech students, faculty or staff. As a designated facilitator the Police Chief is responsible for resource coordination, policy review and ensuring supervisory training for Police Department personnel. The Chief of Police may designate a member of the Police Department to perform the required tasks.
2. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources The Associate Vice President of Human Resources is responsible for forming and facilitating Consultation and Assessment Teams to assess and/or manage workplace violence incidents involving faculty or staff. As a designated facilitator the Associate Vice President is responsible for resource coordination, policy review and ensuring supervisory training for staff personnel. The Associate Vice President may designate a member of the Office of Human Resources to perform the required tasks.
3. The Dean of Students The Dean of Students is responsible for forming and facilitating Consultation and Assessment Teams to assess and/or manage workplace violence incidents involving students. As a designated facilitator the Dean of Students is responsible for resource coordination and policy review. The Dean of Students may designate a member of the Dean’s Office to perform the required tasks.
Enforcement: 

To report suspected instances of noncompliance with this policy, please visit Georgia Tech’s EthicsPoint, a secure and confidential reporting system, at: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/  or call 1-866-294-5565.

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Phone: 404-385-0731