The University of Georgia is committed to the prevention of workplace violence and the maintenance of a respectful working environment. A safe and secure environment is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling the University’s mission of teaching, research, and public service. The University reaffirms the basic right of employees to a safe and humane working environment.
UGA will not tolerate any type of workplace violence committed by or against employees. Workplace violence, for the purpose of the policy includes, but is not limited to: intimidation, bullying, stalking, threats, physical attack, property damage, or domestic and family violence. This includes acts of violence committed by or against UGA employees. Such incidents may also involve students, clients, visitors or vendors.
All students and employees should report any workplace violence that they experience and/or observe to the UGA Human Resources Workforce Engagement Team or to a supervisor. No student or employee should assume that an official of UGA knows about a particular situation. UGA encourages any student, faculty member, or employee who feels he or she has been or may be the victim of workplace violence, or who knows of, or receives a complaint of workplace violence to promptly report the incident to Workforce Engagement and/or the UGA Police Department.
Processing of Reports and Complaints
Complaints and reports of workplace violence should be reported as soon as possible after the incident(s) in order to be most effectively investigated. All reports and complaints of workplace violence will be promptly investigated and appropriate action will be taken as expeditiously as possible. UGA will make reasonable efforts to protect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent. UGA will respect the privacy of the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses in a manner consistent with UGA’s legal obligations to investigate, to take appropriate action, and to comply with any discovery or disclosure obligations required by law. UGA reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report of workplace violence regardless of whether the complainant ultimately desires UGA to pursue the complaint.
Employees are responsible for notifying the appropriate supervisor or the UGA Human Resources Workforce Engagement Team of any threats which they have witnessed, received, or have been told that another person has witnessed or received. Employees should also report any behavior they have witnessed that they regard as threatening or violent when that behavior is/or might be carried out on University property or in connection with University employment. Reports or incidents warranting confidentiality will be handled appropriately and information will be disclosed to others only on a need- to-know basis.
Applicability of Guidelines and Procedures
UGA’s Workplace Violence Policy (Policy) applies to all faculty, staff, administrators, supervisors, employees, the student body, athletes, volunteers and visitors to campus. This includes guests, patrons, independent contractors, or clients of UGA. The Policy prohibits workplace violence in any UGA education program or activity, which means all academic, research, educational, public service and outreach, extracurricular, athletic and other programs.
“Workplace” is defined as the work setting in general, including any UGA education program or activity, which means all academic, research, educational, public service and outreach, extracurricular, athletic and other programs.
Examples of Prohibited Actions and Sanctions
It is a violation of the Policy to:
• Engage in workplace violence as defined by the Policy
• Possess, use, or threaten to use an unauthorized weapon as defined by the Policy
• Misuse authority vested to any employee of UGA in such a way that it violates the Policy
• Engage in off-duty prohibited behavior/conduct that has a potential adverse impact on the UGA and its employees, students, clients, visitors, or vendors
A violation of the Policy shall be considered unacceptable personal conduct as provided in the disciplinary policies applicable to the employee’s appointment type. Acts of violence, as defined herein, may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Anyone who, in good faith, report what they believe to be workplace violence or who cooperate in any investigation will not be subjected to retaliation. Any employee who believes he/she has been the victim of retaliation for reporting workplace violence or cooperating in an investigation should immediately contact the UGA Human Resources Workforce Engagement Team. Any person found to have retaliated against a person who has participated or cooperated in an investigation will be in violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Threats, threatening conduct, or any other acts of aggression or violence in the workplace will not be tolerated. Violations of the Workplace Violence Policy will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. Non-employees engaged in violent acts on University property will be reported to the proper civil authorities and fully prosecuted.
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