Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 50: Safety and Security

Workplace Violence

BPPM 50.30

For more information contact:
   Finance and Administration
   Human Resource Services



The University is committed to maintaining an environment that is free from all acts or threats of violence perpetrated by or against employees, students, or members of the public. See also BPPM 50.31 regarding workplace bullying.

Retaliation Prohibited

Retaliation against any person for bringing forward or participating in the investigation of a complaint under this policy is prohibited. Such acts may form independent grounds for taking appropriate corrective or disciplinary action.

Retaliatory acts must be immediately reported to Human Resource Services (HRS).


Except where otherwise indicated, this policy applies to:

  • All levels and areas of University operations and programs
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Visitors, volunteers, and all other personnel


All Individuals Noted Above

All individuals as noted above must refrain from workplace violence and are encouraged to seek assistance to resolve personal issues that may lead to workplace violence.

Employees and Volunteers

All employees and volunteers are prohibited from possessing on their person or otherwise any firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities at any University campus or location. This prohibition does not apply to:

  • Possession of such items for authorized University purposes.
  • Possession of such items by employees who are authorized law enforcement officers.
  • Lawful possession of firearms in privately-owned vehicles while on any University campus.
  • Employees who have obtained prior written approval to possess such items from the University Chief of Police or any other person designated by the President of the University.

Rules applicable to students are available in WAC Chapter 504-26. Rules applicable to the entire campus community are available in WAC Chapter 504-31.


Defining Workplace Violence

Workplace violence includes physical assault or threatening, intimidating, or abusive conduct. A single act may constitute workplace violence if it is especially severe or egregious. If a manager or supervisor is unsure whether a particular act constitutes workplace violence, they should contact HRS.


Urgent or Direct Threat, or Violent Incident

Any employee who perceives an immediate threat of bodily harm should:

  • Call 911.
  • Disengage and evacuate the area.
  • Isolate the threatening individual if it is safe to do so.
  • Notify HRS and the supervisor.
  • Do whatever is reasonable to keep other employees from potential harm.
Hostile Intruders

University Police have prepared special guidelines for extreme situations, i.e., when hostile intruders cause death or serious bodily injury, or when there is a real threat of death or serious bodily injury (refer to the Emergency Action Plan). The guidelines are formatted to facilitate printing and posting on bulletin boards.

Emerging or Potential Threat

If a situation has the potential for becoming violent over time, call the University campus or local police department, as appropriate, and report the incident to HRS (see Managers/Supervisors/HRS/Police).

Employee/Manager/Supervisor Responsibilities


Employees must report any incident of workplace violence to an immediate manager or supervisor. Note: Repeated unfounded complaints of workplace violence may constitute misconduct or employee abuse.

If the immediate supervisor or manager is the perpetrator of the violence, the employee reports the incident to the next level higher supervisor and to the campus HRS office.


Personnel are to contact the University campus or local police department as indicated above, depending on the nature of the incident.

The appropriate manager or supervisor works with the campus HRS office or the University campus or local police department to promptly investigate the incident. (HRS offices are located at the Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver campuses.)

Workplace Violence Incident Report

The manager or supervisor must route a completed Workplace Violence Incident Report form to the campus HRS office.

Injury or Illness

If an injury or illness results from the workplace violence incident, the manager or supervisor must also complete an online Incident Report within 24 hours (see SPPM 2.24).

Victims of physical injuries should be examined by medical personnel. Injuries should be reported.

Suspected Criminal Activity

The manager or supervisor is to report any incident involving suspected criminal activity to the University campus or local police department for assessment and/or investigation.

Additional Reporting Requirements

HRS is responsible for notifying Student Affairs and Enrollment when an incident involves a student. When suspected criminal activity is involved, HRS notifies the Office of the Provost or the office of the appropriate vice president.

Protection or Restraining Order

An employee who obtains a protection or restraining order that lists a University location as a protected area must immediately provide a copy of the order to their supervisor, the campus HRS office, and the University Police Department or local police department.


Violent action on University property or facilities, or while on University business, is not tolerated or ignored. Individuals who engage in violent or threatening behavior may be:

  • Removed from the premises;
  • Subject to corrective/disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or expulsion; and/or
  • Subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Employee Assistance Program

See BPPM 60.86 regarding state Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources. For further information contact EAP; telephone 1-877-313-4455.

Revisions:  December 2019 (Rev. 539); May 2017 (Rev. 492); Sept. 2015 (Rev. 454); Dec. 2013 (Rev. 423); Jan. 2013 (Rev. 409); Nov. 2012 (Rev. 406); Feb. 2008 (Rev. 316); July 2001 – new policy (Rev. 190).