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UPPS 04.05.20 - Workplace Violence

Workplace Violence

UPPS No. 04.05.20
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 2/21/2020
Next Review Date: 9/01/2022 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, University Police Department


    1. This policy is designed to assist members of the university community to understand and comply with workplace violence policies at Texas State University. To the extent this policy interferes with or conflicts with the Texas State University System (TSUS) Sexual Misconduct Policy, the TSUS Sexual Misconduct Policy prevails.

    1. Disruptive Behaviors - behaviors that interrupt or impede the progress, movement, duties, or responsibilities of an employee.

    2. Intimidation - engaging in actions that include, but are not limited to, stalking or behaviors that would reasonably cause someone to be frightened, coerced, or induce duress.

    3. Physical Attack - unwanted or hostile physical contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, shoving, or throwing objects.

    4. Property Damage - damage to property, including property owned by the university, university employees, students, customers, clients, visitors, guests, or other outside individuals.

    5. Retaliation - any adverse actions that would dissuade a reasonable person from making or supporting a complaint of workplace violence.

    6. Threat - an expression, verbal or non-verbal, of an intention to inflict physical or mental harm or injury. An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat can carry it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional, or expected in the future.

    7. Workplace Violence - is not limited to intimidation, threats, physical attacks, or property damage, acts of violence committed at the workplace or against university employees, students, customers, clients, visitors, guests, or other outside individuals. This definition includes any acts of verbal or psychological threat or abuse on an individual that results in physical or psychological harm. This term also includes all prohibited acts defined in the TSUS Sexual Misconduct Policy.


    1. Prohibited conduct in the Texas State workplace includes workplace violence as defined in Section 02.07. Prohibited conduct does not encompass lawful acts of self-defense or the defense of others (see the TSUS Sexual Misconduct Policy).

    1. All members of the Texas State community should:

      1. be alert to behaviors or attitudes that may be indicators of disruptive, threatening, or violent behaviors, such as:

        1. recent changes in behavior, appearance, or demeanor;
        2. work or personal crisis;
        3. withdrawal from normal activities or contacts;
        4. substance abuse;
        5. threats or references to violence or self-harm;
        6. possession of or fascination with weapons; and
        7. expressions of being wronged, humiliated, or degraded.

        Any such behaviors or attitudes observed should be reported immediately, as noted in Sections 05.01 and 05.02;

      2. ensure awareness of this policy by faculty and staff, as well as by postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate student employees;

      3. participate in planning and response efforts to mitigate the risk of workplace violence;

      4. work with employees in at-risk areas to develop safety plans; and

      5. encourage a safe and secure workplace.


    1. Reports of workplace violence related to sexual misconduct should be made in accordance with Section 3, Reporting Policies and Protocols, 3.7 Reporting Options of the TSUS Sexual Misconduct Policy.

    2. Reports of workplace violence not governed by the TSUS Sexual Misconduct Policy should be made as follows:

      Example of Violent BehaviorsAction Steps
      Level 1 Behaviors 
      • Use of weapons, including items that may be used as a weapon
      • Threats of bodily harm
      • Hostage situations
      • Physical assaults
      • Bomb threats
      • Temporary restraining order violations
      • Property damage
      • Suicide
      • Stalking
      1. Call 911 immediately
      2. Call the University Police Department
      3. Follow bomb threat procedures
      4. Secure office entrances and exits
      Level 2 Behaviors 
      • Threatening Messages
              • Emails
              • U.S. mail
              • Phone calls
              • Text or social media
              • Fax
      1. Call the University Police Department
      Level 3 Behaviors 
      • Intimidation
      • Intentional work interference
      • Sabotage
      • Repeated behavior that causes distress in a reasonable person
      1. Call Human Resources, Employee Relations
      • Indicators of harm to self or others1. Remove employee to private room to calm and reassure
      2. Call the University Police Department
      3. Call Human Resources, Employee Relations

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Director, University Police DepartmentSeptember 1 E2Y
      Lieutenant, Criminal Investigations Division, University Police DepartmentSeptember 1 E2Y
      Assistant Vice President for Human ResourcesSeptember 1 E2Y
      Title IX CoordinatorSeptember 1 E2Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Director, University Police; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services