Threatening behavior in the workplace is simply unacceptable and should not be tolerated. When identified, it should be addressed quickly. Employees who exhibit this type of behavior should be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, may also be placed on administrative leave, detailed to another position or office, or any similar discipline up to and including termination. The employee can also be referred to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP); although such participation is voluntary, an employee’s participation in EAP counseling may mitigate the severity of any penalty arising out of the behavior. Supervisors must contact their servicing Human Resources Office for advice and guidance on the appropriate action.

*Threats *may be direct statements such as “I am going to kill you,” or veiled statements such as “Something bad will happen to someone,” “I’m afraid I may hurt someone,” or “I think about killing myself.” Some of the ways employees may receive threats include:

  • Remarks made directly to the target of the threat orally, either in person or through telephone calls;
  • Remarks made to one person about another; or
  • Remarks made in letters, notes, or electronic messages.

When you are aware of such threatening remarks, do not ignore the information, even if you do not personally believe the threat is serious. Employees who receive or witness threatening remarks must report them to their supervisors; supervisors must immediately contact their servicing Human Resources Office, which will convene the Assessment and Response Team. The Assessment and Response Team will evaluate the situation, determine the seriousness of the threat and determine the appropriate action.

Intimidating or harassing remarks may not actually contain a threat. However, these types of remarks can create a hostile work environment and must be addressed.
Employees should report such remarks to their immediate supervisors or higher-level management, who in turn, should contact their servicing Human Resources Office for advice and guidance on the appropriate action.

Intimidating, harassing, or confrontational behavior can include such things as physically crowding, stalking, or directing menacing looks or gestures at an individual to create fear. Such actions are inappropriate and should not be tolerated. When ignored, these behaviors can escalate and lead to more serious problems. Employees should report intimidating or harassing behavior to their supervisors. Supervisors should contact their servicing Human Resources Office for advice and guidance on the appropriate action.

Irrational or inappropriate behavior often bothers others and can be extremely disruptive. These behaviors may be a warning sign of violence or may be indicative of other problems. Examples of irrational or inappropriate behaviors may include unwelcome name calling, use of obscene language, sexual advances, throwing objects and the like. Employees should notify their supervisors when they witness or are the object of irrational or inappropriate behavior; supervisors should contact their servicing Human Resources Office for advice on the actions needed to respond to such behavior.

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