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Human Resources

Workplace violence

The University of Washington is committed to providing a safe workplace. The University does not tolerate behavior, whether direct or through the use of University facilities, property or resources that:

  • Is violent
  • Threatens to harm
  • Harasses or intimidates others
  • Interferes with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression
  • Disrupts the workplace, the academic environment or the University’s ability to provide services to the public.

Violent or threatening behavior can include: physical acts, oral or written statements, email messages, telephone calls, gestures and expressions.

Violence in the workplace includes relationship violence and stalking that intrudes into the workplace, endangering an individual and/or others in the workplace. Relationship violence can be physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive behavior that a current or former intimate partner uses to establish and maintain coercive control. Stalking is any unwanted contact which causes a person to feel threatened, harassed or intimated. Stalking can include showing up at the workplace, sending unwanted gifts, phone calls and texts or monitoring someone’s communications or location.

Individuals who engage in violent behavior may be removed from the premises, and may be subject to dismissal or other disciplinary action, arrest, and/or criminal prosecution.

This policy applies to all UW work locations including offices, classrooms, work sites, vehicles, and field locations. In addition to this policy, some units (such as medical centers) have additional legislative or regulatory requirements with which they must comply.

What to report: behaviors of concern

Behaviors of concern can be precursors to greater levels of violence. It is imperative that SafeCampus learn about early behaviors of concern so that plans can be put in place to prevent greater violence from occurring in the workplace. The following behaviors of concern could indicate the potential for an individual to engage in violent behavior or could be indicators for suicide risk.

  • Use of violence, threats to harm and harassment toward others.
  • Reacting angrily or emotionally in a way that seems disproportionate to the situation.
  • Making direct or veiled threats about harming or killing one’s self or others.
  • Engaging in intimidating, belligerent, insubordinate, defiant, or challenging behavior.
  • Being confrontational, angry, or behaving in an unpredictable, restless, or agitated manner.
  • Blaming others for anything that goes wrong, with no sense of personal responsibility.
  • Displaying a recent, marked job or academic performance decline and/or attendance problem.
  • Displaying marked changes in personality, mood, or behavior.
  • Withdrawing from friends and acquaintances.
  • Crying excessively for what appears to be little or no reason.
  • Crossing behavioral boundaries at work (e.g., excessive phone calls, personal emails, and/or visits).
  • Engaging in substance abuse.
  • Perceiving disgrace or loss of options due to failure.

Reporting requirements

The University has established procedures that employees must follow to report behaviors of concern, harassing, threatening and violent behavior to SafeCampus. If you are a supervisor, you are required to report situations that UW employees have reported to you.

Need immediate assistance?
  • Call 911
    Harborview Medical Center: 206-744-5555 (Public Safety Assistance)
    UW Medical Center: 206-598-5555 (Security Guard Assistance)
  • Call SafeCampus once you are safe.
  • When appropriate alert your supervisor to the situation.
Reporting to SafeCampus

If you feel concerned about someone’s behavior, potential violence, or need to report a situation that has already occurred, call SafeCampus and we will provide support, discuss your options, offer safety measures, and connect you with resources.

  • Call SafeCampus
    UW Seattle: 206-685-SAFE (7233)
    UW Bothell: 425-352-SAFE (7233)
    UW Tacoma: 253-692-SAFE (7233)
  • When appropriate alert your supervisor to the situation.

Protection orders

Relationship violence, stalking, and harassment

There are a variety of types of protection orders that a person can obtain. Victims of relationship violence and stalking must decide what action is appropriate for them to take. If you are experiencing relationship violence or stalking, consider talking to a UW Victim Advocate 206-543-9337 or dolcin@uw.edu. You can learn more about domestic violence protection orders at the King County protection order page.

Notification of protection orders

If you or your employee have obtained a protection order that includes a UW location(s) please:

  • Consider contacting the UW Victim Advocate. 206-543-9337 or dolcin@uw.edu
  • Provide a copy of the order to the UW Police. 206-685-UWPD(8973)
  • If you would like additional support, call SafeCampus at 206-685-SAFE(7233).

Resource and policy links