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Skidmore College
Skidmore College Employee Handbook for Staff

Policy Against Workplace Violence

1. Statement of Policy

Acts or threats of physical violence, including intimidation, harassment, and/or coercion, that involve or affect Skidmore College, or that occur on Skidmore College property, or in the conduct of Skidmore College business off Skidmore College property, will not be tolerated.  This prohibition against threats and acts of violence applies to all persons involved in Skidmore College operations, including, but not limited to, Skidmore College personnel, contract workers, temporary Employees, and anyone else on Skidmore College property or conducting Skidmore College business off Skidmore College property.  Violations of this policy, by any individual, may lead to disciplinary and/or legal action as appropriate.  

In order to assure the safety of students, employees and others on campus, the College will conduct a review when it becomes aware of any incidents of an employee engaging in threats of violence or actual violence while off duty and off campus.  If the College determines that the employee’s conduct presents an unreasonable risk to the safety of the campus community, the employee may be removed from campus pending investigation and employment may be terminated.  Further information about the Policy including its Definitions, Process, and Enforcement can be found on the Human Resources Policy site.

This policy is intended to provide a safe workplace; it is not intended to create any obligations beyond those required by existing law.

2. Definitions

Workplace violence is any intentional conduct that is sufficiently severe, offensive, or intimidating to cause an individual to reasonably fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of his or her family, friends, and/or property such that employment conditions are altered or a hostile, abusive, or intimidating work environment is created for one or more Skidmore College Employees. 

Workplace violence may involve any threats or acts of violence occurring on Skidmore College premises, regardless of the relationship between Skidmore College and the parties involved in the incident.  It also includes threats or acts of violence that affect the business interests of Skidmore College or that may lead to an incident of violence on Skidmore College premises.  Threats or acts of violence occurring off Skidmore College premises that involve Employees, agents, or individuals acting as a representative of Skidmore College, whether as victims of or active participants in the conduct, may also constitute workplace violence.  Specific examples of conduct that may constitute threats or acts of violence under this policy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Threats or acts of physical or aggressive contact directed toward another individual;
  2. Threats or acts of physical harm directed toward an individual or his/her family, friends, associates, or property;
  3. The intentional destruction or threat of destruction of Skidmore College property or another Employee's property;
  4. Harassing or threatening phone calls or emails;
  5. Surveillance;
  6. Stalking;
  7. Veiled threats of physical harm or similar intimidation;
  8. Abusive or intimidating behavior from a colleague, supervisor, or vendor; and
  9.   Any conduct resulting in the conviction under any criminal code provision relating to violence or threats of violence that adversely affects Skidmore’s legitimate college interests.

Workplace violence does not refer to occasional comments of a socially acceptable nature.  These comments may include references to legitimate sporting activities, popular entertainment, or current events.  Rather, it refers to behavior that is personally offensive, threatening, or intimidating

3. Process

If you feel threatened or witness any criminal activity please call Campus Safety at (518) 580-5566 or the police by dialing 911.  If you believe you are a victim or witness to any of the above, please report this incident to your Supervisor or Director immediately, or if your Supervisor or Director is unavailable or you do not feel comfortable reporting the incident to your Supervisor or Director, to Human Resources.    If there are witnesses to the incident, please let your Supervisor, Director or Human Resources know.  In conjunction with Human Resources, your Director or their designee (as appropriate) in turn will:

  • Determine if any party involved should be removed from campus immediately to protect the safety of employees, students, and/or third parties;  
  • Conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the incident;
  • Work together to determine the appropriate remedial action, up to and including termination of employment, removal from campus, and/or legal action.

Human Resources may request additional assistance from the Campus Safety Director as needed.  The intent of this policy and process is to resolve the issue at the Departmental level as much as possible.

The College prohibits retaliation of any kind against any person who makes a complaint of workplace violence under this policy or participates in an investigation of workplace violence.  Retaliation includes conduct that might dissuade a reasonable person from making or supporting a complaint of workplace violence.  If you believe you have been subject to retaliation, please report it immediately to your Supervisor, Director, or Human Resources.  Employees found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

4. Enforcement

Any person who engages in a threat or violent action on Skidmore College property may be removed from the premises as quickly as safety permits and may be required, at Skidmore College's discretion, to remain off Skidmore College premises pending the outcome of an investigation of the incident.

When threats are made or acts of violence are committed by an Employee, a judgment will be made by Skidmore College as to what actions are appropriate with respect to that Employee, including potential medical evaluation and/or disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

Important Note:  Skidmore College will make the sole determination of whether, and to what extent, threats or acts of violence will be acted upon by Skidmore College.  In making this determination, Skidmore College may undertake a case-by-case analysis in order to ascertain whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that workplace violence has occurred.  No provision of this policy alters the at-will nature of employment at Skidmore College.


If you have questions or require additional information with respect to any Handbook content, please contact Human Resources (extension 5800).

Section 6 - Updated August 2015