CSU Policy: Violence in the Workplace

Policy Title: Violence in the Workplace Category: Public Safety/Risk Management
Owner: University President Policy ID#: 6-6023-009
University Police
Web: http://police.colostate.edu/
Phone: (970) 491-6425

Also Contact:
Office of Support and Safety Assessment
Web: http://supportandsafety.colostate.edu/about-us
Phone: (970) 491-1350
Original Effective Date: 8/13/1996
Print Version: Click Here to Print


Colorado State University (CSU) is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for members of the CSU community, one in which students and employees can achieve their educational and career goals. Workplace violence impedes such goals and endangers the entire community; therefore, violent behavior is prohibited in or on any University facility or while participating in any University activity.


This policy applies to all employees, including faculty, administrative professionals, state classified employees, student employees, volunteers, affiliates and all other persons under the jurisdiction of the University to impose sanctions for behavior in the employment context. Agents, contractors and subcontractors are subject to this policy while engaged in activities in the scope of their relationship to the University. It is not intended to cover CSU students who are not employed by CSU (although a similar policy applies under the Student Conduct Code). Student employees who violate this policy will be subject to procedures in the CSU Student Conduct Code as well as procedures applicable to employees.

It is the responsibility of all persons covered by this policy to know and follow it.


"CSU," "University," and "Colorado State University" mean any campus, department or unit, program, association, or entity of Colorado State University.

“Violence” or “violent behavior” includes any physical assault, threat of assault (written, electronic, verbal, or otherwise) occurring in the Workplace setting.

“Workplace” means any place in which a CSU employee is engaged in activities of his or her employment with CSU, including off-campus offices and facilities.

  1. Each member of the CSU community is responsible for reporting acts or threats of violence which they witness or of which they have knowledge. When violence is imminent or occurring, the report should be made by calling 911 to reach CSU Police (CSUPD) or the local law enforcement authority. After any emergency report, and in non-emergencies, incidents shall be reported to an appropriate authority including an immediate supervisor and the Office of Support and Safety Assessment (970-491-7407).

  2. Incidents will be investigated and reviewed by the CSU Police Department, the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, and others as appropriate. Members of the University community shall cooperate with the investigatory process. The Office of Support and Safety Assessment will determine when incidents warrant further investigation and review, and whether they should be referred for action at the unit level. In certain instances, the Office of Support and Safety Assessment may impose interim measures for the duration of the review process including, but not limited to, campus exclusion. For more information about the review process, please contact Support and Safety Assessment (970-491-7407).

  3. Examples of prohibited, violent behaviors include:
    1. Threats or any expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm, whether made directly to the victim or to another. A threat may be communicated verbally or nonverbally. Verbal threats include those made by any method of communication such as speech, email, comments posted on websites, or other paper or electronic media. Nonverbal threats include, but are not limited to, making gestures that convey threats.
    2. Assault or any action which puts a reasonable person in fear or apprehension of immediate bodily harm. Assault may include verbal or non-verbal acts.
    3. Physical violence, or any unwanted physical contact such as hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, biting, fighting, throwing objects or use of a weapon against another person which is intended to or may result in bodily injury.
    4. Any intentional damage of property, including property owned by the University or its employees, students, visitors or vendors. Property damage includes, but is not limited to, such acts as vandalism, arson or sabotage.
    5. Display or use of a weapon in an aggressive or threatening manner, other than by a law enforcement officer in the course of his/her duty or in self-defense under state law.

  4. Freedom of Speech in the Workplace

    The University values and promotes freedom of expression and inquiry in a nonviolent manner. Please refer to the University’s policies referenced below. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit or restrict a person’s First Amendment rights or rights to academic freedom; however, such rights do not include the right to engage in violent behavior.

  5. Bullying in the Workplace

    The University is committed to maintaining an environment that is conducive to working and learning, and the University prohibits bullying, as described in the University’s separate Bullying in the Workplace policy.

  6. Domestic Violence in the Workplace

    The University understands that incidents of domestic violence can intrude upon or impact the workplace. In such circumstances, CSU will take every reasonable action to protect the safety and well-being of the University community, as well as to provide necessary resources to those who are victims of domestic violence.

    University employees who are victims of domestic violence outside the workplace are encouraged to report the incident or situation to their immediate supervisor and law enforcement authorities, Office of Support and Safety Assessment, or the Employee Assistance Program. Employees are further encouraged to notify their supervisor if they are a protected party to a protection order.

    Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Colorado or other jurisdiction in which this policy applies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

    See the University’s policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation for more information about domestic violence.

  7. Retaliation

    The University will not tolerate retaliation against employees making good faith reports as provided for in this policy, even where the concerns are ultimately unsubstantiated, and such retaliation is a violation of this policy that may be grounds for disciplinary action.

    False reports of prohibited behavior that are found to have been made intentionally are a violation of this policy and may also result in disciplinary action.


Any person who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action under applicable University policies and procedures (including section E.15 of the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual for tenured faculty, and for all other employees, as set forth in the Human Resources Manual), up to and including termination from the University, exclusion from University property, and arrest and prosecution under criminal laws.

Student employees who are in violation of this policy are also subject to the procedures detailed in the CSU Student Conduct Code.

Any visitor or affiliate who commits or threatens to commit prohibited behavior may be subject to exclusion from campus, termination of his or her business relationship with the University and/or other appropriate action, up to and including arrest and prosecution.

This policy is not intended to preclude or supersede any other policy that might subject a violating party to disciplinary review, including but not limited to the CSU Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation, CSU Policy on Bullying in the Workplace, the CSU Student Conduct Code, and Human Resources or departmental conduct policies.

Compliance assistance is available from the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, (970) 491-7407.



Approved Aug. 13, 1996

Approved by Anthony A. Frank, President, Oct. 27, 2015


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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