Board Policy - Prevention of Workplace Violence

Policy Statement 

Tompkins Cortland Community College is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace and learning environment where violence or threats directed towards any person will not be tolerated. The College will actively work to prevent and eliminate violence, threatening behavior, and harassment on campus. The College will respond promptly and decisively to violence, threatening behavior, and harassment on campus. 

Any and all forms of violence, threatening behavior or harassment which involve or affect the College or which occur on the College campus is prohibited by this policy. For purposes of this policy, “the campus” is collectively defined as the College’s premises, any off-campus location where an employee is on official duty or travel status and related facilities such as residence halls. This includes threatening behavior, violent actions, and harassment among and between all persons on campus, such as; College employees directed against supervisors, by employees directed against other employees, by employees directed against students, or visitors, and by visitors directed against College employees or students. 

Engaging in violent, threatening behavior or harassment has been and is considered a serious form of employee or student misconduct. Reports of such acts will be promptly investigated and action will be taken, as necessary, to appropriately address each incident. The College will take action which may include the termination of an employee(s) involved in such acts, disciplining students, and the timely involvement of Campus Police and other law enforcement agencies, when appropriate. Actions may also include removal of third party vendors from campus or termination of contracts with such vendors. 


Workplace violence is any behavior that is violent, threatens violence, coerces, harasses or intimidates others, interferes with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression, or disrupts the workplace, the academic environment, or the College’s ability to provide services to the public. Examples of workplace violence include, but are not limited to: 

  • Disruptive behavior is defined as the intent to disturb, interfere with or prevent normal work activities (such as yelling, using profanity, verbally abusing others, or waving arms and fists). 
  • Intentional physical contact for the purpose of causing harm (such as slapping, stabbing, punching, striking, shoving, or other physical attack). 
  • Menacing or threatening behavior (such as throwing objects, pounding on a desk or door, damaging property, stalking, or otherwise acting aggressively; or making oral or written statements specifically intended to frighten, coerce, or threaten) where a reasonable person would interrupt such behavior as constituting evidence of intent to cause harm to individuals or property. 
  • Possessing firearms, imitation firearms, knives or other dangerous weapons, instruments or materials. No one within the College community shall have in their possession a firearm or other dangerous weapon, instrument or material that can be used to inflict bodily harm on an individual or damage to College property. This regulation is in compliance with NYS Law, covered under Section 256.01 and 265.00 of the Penal Law and regulations passed by the NYS Legislature. Law enforcement officers are exempted. Students wishing to bring legal weapons on campus must receive written authorization from the Director of Campus Police.

General Reporting Responsibilities 

Incidents of workplace violence, threats of workplace violence, or observations of workplace violence are not to be ignored by any member of the College community. Employees should alert their supervisors, representatives of the Office of Campus Police, or the Human Resources Department of any suspicious workplace activity or situations that they observe or of which they are aware, such as threats or acts of violence, aggressive behavior, offensive acts, threatening or offensive comments or remarks, or the presence of weapons on College property. Each person to whom such a report is made shall immediately refer the report to the Human Resources Department. 

Employee reports made pursuant to this policy will be held in confidence to the maximum possible extent. The College will not condone any form of retaliation against any employee for making a report under this policy. It is important that all members of the College community take this responsibility seriously to effectively maintain a safe working and learning environment 


To ensure the awareness and compliance of this policy, the College will develop and implement a “Workplace Violence Prevention Program” in accordance with the NYS Workplace Violence Prevention Act (Labor Law Section 27b). This law requires employers to proactively: (1) evaluate the safety of their workplaces; (2) develop and implement workplace violence prevention programs; and (3) provide workplace safety training to all employees. The Workplace Violence Prevention Act also provides guidance to employers in carrying out their workplace safety obligations. For further information, please contact the Campus Police Office. 

Employees Assistance Program (EAP) 

The College’s employees assistance program (EAP) provides support for this policy. Any employee who displays a tendency to engage in violent, abusive, or threatening behavior, or who otherwise engages in behavior that the Board, in its sole discretion, deems offensive or inappropriate, will be referred to the EAP for counseling or other appropriate treatment. 

12/3/98 – Resolution #1998-99-43 – Prevention of Workplace Violence Policy. 5/10/2007