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Violence in the Workplace Policy

VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE POLICY

The Board of Trustees of the Kenosha Public Library adopts and makes public the following written policies.

 

  1. PURPOSE

Kenosha Public Library (KPL) is committed to providing a safe workplace for its employees and a safe environment for the citizens of the community, and has a zero tolerance policy toward any intimidating, threatening or violent behavior at the workplace.  This policy applies to any form of violence occurring on the worksite, or involving KPL employees engaged in the performance of their work duties whether on or off the worksite.  Violence occurring at other locations involving KPL employees will come under this policy if it adversely affects the interests of the Kenosha Public Library.  In addition, this policy applies to domestic violence situations when physical harm, threat of harm or fear of harm creates a safety issue for any employee while performing their job.  Domestic violence threats at work must be met with the same level of response as any other kind of threat.  Supervisors will work to the extent reasonably possible to ensure that employees are free from intimidating, threatening and violent behavior while at work.

 

II.   POLICY

Employees are prohibited from bringing concealed and/or unconcealed weapons, as defined by state statute (i.e. handgun, knife, bully club or taser) to the worksite, including the storage of weapons with their personal belongings in the workplace.  This prohibition does not include firearms stored in an employee’s personal vehicle, even while on KPL business, and does not apply if the firearm is in a vehicle driven or parked in a KPL parking lot.

 

Employees who carry concealed or unconcealed weapons or display intimidating, threatening and/or violent behavior will be held accountable under Library policy and work rules, as well as local, state and federal law.  An employee who harasses, threatens, attempts to or inflicts bodily harm to co-workers, representatives of other agencies, or members of the general public is in violation of this policy.  All Kenosha Public Library supervisors and employees are responsible for committing to and becoming involved in the prevention of workplace violence and promotion of a safe work environment. 

 

Violence is defined as any direct, conditional or implied threat, intentional act or other conduct which reasonably arouses fear, hostility, intimidation or the apprehension of harm in its target or witnesses, regardless of the location of such acts.  Workplace violence includes vandalism or the destruction of property at the worksite belonging to an employee, citizen, vendor or KPL.  Kenosha Public Library property includes all items owned or leased.  Weapons  include any item which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used is likely to produce death, physical injury or property damage.

 

Workplace violence includes intimidations or threats, which are an implication or expression of intent to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or actions that a reasonable person would perceive as a threat to personal safety or property.  Threatening behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-verbal threats (i.e. glaring, staring with intent to intimidate, or insulting gestures)
  • Mail, facsimile, messages, phone calls, texts, e-mail, social media, or any correspondence deemed by a reasonable person to be intimidating, threatening or coercing.
  • Intimidating, stalking or coercing fellow employees on or off premises at any time, for any purpose, that in the employer’s judgment affects the interest of KPL.

 

III.  Responsibilities

The goal of the KPL Workplace Violence Program is to support a work environment in which violent or potentially violent situations are effectively addressed with a focus on prevention by increasing employee understanding of the nature of workplace violence, how to respond to it, and how to prevent it. Success in the protection of our employees requires your personal attention and, as necessary, appropriate action. It is up to each employee to help make the Library a safe workplace for all of us. The expectation is that each employee will treat all other employees, as well as customers or clients, with dignity and respect.

 

A.    Employees (including Supervisors) are responsible for:

  • Their own behavior by interacting responsibly with fellow employees, supervisors, and clients;
  • Being familiar with Library policy regarding workplace violence;
  • Promptly reporting actual and/or potential acts of violence to appropriate authorities;
  • Cooperating fully in investigations/assessments of allegations of workplace violence;
  • Being familiar with the service provided by the Employee Assistance Program; and
  • Informing appropriate personnel about restraining or protective court orders related to domestic situations so that assistance can be offered at the work site.

 

B.     Supervisors are additionally responsible for:

  • Informing employees of the Library’s workplace violence policy and program;
  • Taking all reported incidents of workplace violence seriously;
  • Investigating all acts of violence, threat, and similar disruptive behavior in a timely fashion and taking the necessary action(s);
  • Providing feedback to employees regarding the outcome of their reports regarding violent or potentially violent incidents;
  • Requesting, where appropriate, assistance from functional area expert(s);
  • being cognizant of situations that have the potential to produce violent behavior and promptly addressing them with all concerned parties;
  • Encouraging employees who show signs of stress or evidence of possible domestic violence to seek assistance, such as the Employee Assistance Program; and
  • Assuring, where needed, that employees have time and opportunity to attend training, e.g., conflict resolution, stress management, etc.

 

C.     The Head of Administrative Services is responsible for:

  • Assisting in assessing and investigating allegations of workplace violence raised by employees, supervisors, and/or managers, as requested;
  • Providing technical expertise and consultation to help supervisors determine what course of administrative action is most appropriate in specific situations, including Alternatives to Discipline and use of Alternative Dispute Resolution process;
  • Providing advice and counsel regarding personnel rules and regulations; and
  • Offering training courses to assist employees to deal with situations which may lead to potential violence, e.g., conflict resolution, stress management, negotiation skills, etc.

 

D.     Retaliation

  • Retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint of workplace violence, or for assisting, testifying, or participating in the investigation of such a complaint, is illegal and is prohibited by the Kenosha Public Library and by federal statutes.
  • Retaliation is a form of employee misconduct.  Any evidence of retaliation shall be considered a separate violation of this policy and shall be handled by the same complaint procedures established for workplace violence complaints. 
  • Monitoring to ensure that retaliation does not occur is the responsibility of KPL administration, supervisors and the appropriate internal investigative authority.

 

E.     Restraining Orders

  • Individuals who apply for and obtain an injunction or restraining order must provide to their supervisor and the Library Director:
  1. A copy of the petition and declaration used to seek the order;
  2. A copy of any temporary protective restraining order, and/or:
  3. A copy of a protective restraining order that is made permanent.
  • In cases of potential discrimination and/or sexual harassment allegations or charges, supervisors are obligated to begin the investigatory process.

           

III.  DEFINITIONS

 

  1. Intimidation or Threat

1.   Implication or expression of intent to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or actions that a reasonable person would perceive as a threat to personal safety or property.

2.   Words or actions which cause a person to avoid social contact or to do or refrain from doing an act, including supervisory discipline, by inducing fear.

3.   Threatening behaviors include, but are not limited to:

a.      Non-verbal threats (e.g., glaring, staring with the intent to intimidate, or insulting gestures.

b.      Mail, facsimile, messages, phone calls, text, email, social media, or any correspondence deemed by a reasonable person to be intimidating, threatening or coercing.

c.      Intimidating, stalking or coercing fellow employees on or off premises at any time, for any purpose, that in the Library’s  judgment affects the interest of the Library.

B.     Violence

1.   Any direct, conditional or implied threat, intentional act or other conduct which reasonably arouses fear, hostility, intimidation or the apprehension of harm in its target or witnesses, regardless of the location of such acts.

2.   Workplace violence:  Includes vandalism or the destruction of property at the worksite belonging to an employee, citizen, vendor or the Kenosha Public Library.  KPL property includes all items owned or leased.

C.     Weapon 

The statutory definition of “dangerous weapon” is contained in 939.22(10), Wisconsin State Statutes, which states:  “dangerous weapon means any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm;  any ligature or other instrumentality used on the throat, neck, nose, or mouth of another person to impede, partially or completely, breathing or circulation of blood; any electric weapon, as defined in s. 941.295(4); or any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.”

 

D.    Workplace/Worksite        

Any location where employees are carrying out their job duties or are contacted for reasons related to their job duties.

Approved, KPL Board of Trustees: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017