List of Emergency Numbers Definitions These definitions are provided for use in the context of this document and should not be construed as legal definitions. This might involve the use of a weapon, and includes actions such as hitting, punching, pushing, poking, or kicking. A device, instrument, or substance that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury. These include guns, knives, clubs, chemicals, and explosive devices.
Department of Labor Facility. A professional resource and referral service available to all DOL employees to help employees find providers, information, and resources needed to manage their personal and professional responsibilities. A reference to acts of physical and psychological violence, including harassing or intimidating behavior, that occur as part of personal relationships.
Included in the concept of domestic violence are spousal abuse, abuse among intimates, as well as sexual and physical abuse of children, elderly, or the infirm. A professional assessment, referral, and short-term counseling service available to all DOL employees and, in some situations, to their family members to help with personal problems such as substance abuse, financial pressures, job stress, and family dysfunction which may be affecting work performance.
EAP services are voluntary, confidential, and provided at no cost to the employee. Functional area experts include: Intimidating or Harassing Behavior. Threats or other conduct which in any way create a hostile environment, impair agency operations; or frighten, alarm, or inhibit others.
Psychological intimidation or harassment includes making statements which are false, malicious, disparaging, derogatory, rude, disrespectful, abusive, obnoxious, insubordinate, or which have the intent to hurt others' reputations. Physical intimidation or harassment may include holding, impeding or blocking movement, following, stalking, touching, or any other inappropriate physical contact or advances. An act to destroy, damage, incapacitate, or contaminate property, equipment, supplies, or data e.
Any oral or written expression or gesture that could be interpreted by a reasonable person as conveying an intent to cause physical harm to persons or property. Statements such as, "I'll get him" or "She won't get away with this" could be examples of threatening expressions depending on the facts and circumstances involved.
An action verbal, written, or physical aggression which is intended to control or cause, or is capable of causing, death or serious bodily injury to oneself or others, or damage to property. Workplace violence includes abusive behavior toward authority, intimidating or harassing behavior, and threats. Policies, Regulations, and Laws Related to Workplace Violence for Federal Employers This section outlines some of the more relevant DOL policies, laws, and regulations related to violence in the workplace.
DOL Policy on Violence in the Workplace The Department's policy is to promote a safe environment for our employees and the visiting public, and to work with our employees to maintain a work environment that is free from violence, harassment, intimidation, and other disruptive behavior. The Department's position in this area is that violence or threats of violence — in all forms — is unacceptable behavior. Violence in any form will not be tolerated and will be dealt with appropriately.
Employees at all levels are encouraged to report threatening or intimidating behavior to the appropriate authorities in and outside the Department.
Disciplinary and Adverse Actions: Increasingly, employee and labor relations staff are being asked to handle cases involving the discipline of employees who threaten or actually commit violent acts in this Department. Since this is often a complex issue, employee and labor relations staff need to know how to analyze various warning signs and behaviors to determine whether an employee is a threat and how to react appropriately.
Office of Personnel Management, Employee Health Services Policy Center, has developed guidelines which discusses available disciplinary and non-disciplinary personnel actions, disability retirement, and reasonable accommodation for these types of cases. It also periodically publishes current case law with regard to violence in the workplace and sponsors programs where current case law is discussed.
The EAP is designed to 1 help employees resolve personal issues — e. The EAP can help prevent problems by assisting workgroups as well as individual employees with such issues as stress and grief, and can also assist victims of threatening or violent behavior by providing counseling and referral for service.
Assistance for entire workgroups can also be provided or arranged for by the EAP after a traumatic incident. Agencies may offer an examination at any time they believe there may be a medical or psychiatric reason for unacceptable behavior. However, they may order a general medical exam only in these situations: A psychiatric examination including a psychological assessment may be ordered only when a general medical examination, properly ordered, indicates no physical explanation for behavior or actions which may affect the safe and efficient work of the individual or others, or when such an examination is specifically required by the position.
Standards of Ethical Conduct: Threatening or intimidating behavior and violent acts may be viewed as a job conduct problem.
In these situations, the Standards of Ethical Conduct may influence sanctions imposed concerning the conduct. The Standards were promulgated by the Office of Government Ethics most recently in February to ensure that the business of Federal agencies is conducted effectively, objectively, and without improper influence or the appearance of improper influence. The purpose of the Standards is to ensure that government employees are persons of integrity and observe high standards of honesty, impartiality, and behavior.
Federal Property Management Regulations: The regulations contain several provisions prohibiting disruptive conduct in Federal facilities. The regulations prohibit the creation of hazards as well as disturbances of all kinds that disrupt the performance of official job duties. It prohibits the possession or use of firearms and other dangerous weapons on a Federally owned or leased facility, including grounds, parking lots, and buildings, or in a government-owned or leased vehicle.
Federal law states in part: Whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined, or both. Certain exceptions apply 18 U. Whoever with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon, in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined, or both.
In addition, DLMS Chapter , dated March 17, , directly addresses possession of firearms by Department of Labor employees, and stipulates that only authorized employees can carry or transport firearms while on official duty.
Title 41, Chapter Federal Property Management Regulations, of the Code of Federal Regulations also prohibits the use of alcohol and illegal drugs and intoxication at work.
Any DOL employee who violates prohibitions on the use of alcohol and illegal drugs and intoxication at work may be appropriately disciplined up to and including removal from Federal service.
Physical protection and building security requirements are also provided under these regulations. The role of workers' compensation is significant in workplace violence. Injuries resulting from personal disputes are typically judged compensable, no matter how unusual. But an employee's injury is covered under workers' compensation only if the dispute leading to the injury is related to the employment.
In other words, the employee must have been acting within the scope of his or her job when the injury occurred for the injury to be compensable. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs makes determinations regarding whether injuries are compensable. In , Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is a comprehensive anti-discrimination statute that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in private, state, and local government employment, and in the provision of public accommodations, public transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
The purposes of the ADA are to provide a clear national mandate to end discrimination against individuals with disabilities physical and mental and to provide strong, consistent, and enforceable standards prohibiting discrimination against such individuals. For the most part, the Federal government is exempted from the ADA because it is already covered by similar nondiscrimination requirements and additional affirmative employment requirements under Section of the Rehabilitation Act of Employees who threaten or commit acts of violence may seek protection under the laws because of debilitating psychological conditions that may lead to violence, but the laws do not shield employees from the consequences of violent behavior.
Employees must be qualified to perform the basic functions of the job, and in most cases violent behavior will be disqualifying. Victims of threatening or violent behavior may also seek protection after being victimized because they develop debilitating psychological conditions that may limit their ability to perform on the job without reasonable accommodation s. Regarding employment discrimination and violence, an individual may only be denied employment or discharged where 1 that individual poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others; and 2 the direct threat cannot be reduced or eliminated by a reasonable accommodation without undue hardship.
A direct threat of violence is generally understood to mean a specific and significant risk of violence coupled with a high probability of substantial harm. It is determined on a case by case basis. The Family and Medical Leave Act of guarantees an eligible worker the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave in a year to care for one's own serious health condition or to attend to family members' serious health conditions.
If a mental or physical injury occurs due to workplace violence, an employee may be eligible to utilize this leave for care of the injury. The standards require that each employer furnish to each of its employees, a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA investigates and makes determinations about violations to its standards.
To prove a violation, OSHA must find that the employer failed to keep the workplace free of a hazard to which employees of that employer were exposed, the hazard was recognized, the hazard was causing or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm, and there was a feasible and useful method to correct the hazard OSHA has developed guidelines to help prevent workplace violence.
Under the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of , employers can be cited if there is a recognized hazard of workplace violence in their establishments and they do nothing to prevent or abate it.
Agencies may also need to be aware of other laws and regulations that impact their response to violence in the workplace. For example, most states now have stalking laws that prohibit willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person.
These stalking laws would prohibit this type of behavior at work as well. Restraining orders and protective court orders are another measure used in the community for preventing further violence, threats, or harassment. They are issued by a court and forbid, for a specified period of time, one party from making contact with another. It is important that appropriate persons in the agency know about these orders so that the individuals can be protected at work, particularly when the two parties work together.
Individual states also have laws related to safety and health in the workplace which typically mirror OSHA. Some recognize violence as a workplace hazard and others do not. Federal Laws Which Govern Crimes, Criminal Procedures, Extortion, and Threats Against Federal If Federal employees are threatened or killed on the job while acting in their official capacity, there are now stricter, more comprehensive statutes which provide for criminal sanctions under Federal law Section of Title 18 of the U.
Prior to April 24, , only certain officers and employees of the United States were covered under the Department of Justice regulations regarding crimes against Federal employees.
This included DOL employees assigned to perform investigative, inspection, or law enforcement functions. In the statute was amended to include the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs OWCP due to the large number of threats and incidents which occurred in that agency.
Agencies which were not specifically covered received no protection under Federal law. On April 24, , the statute was amended in response to the bombing in Oklahoma City. The statute now states: Whoever kills or attempts to kill any officer or employee of the United States or of any agency in any branch of the United States Government The categories of Federal officers and employees covered by Section are also protected while they are engaged in or on account of the performance of their official duties, from a conspiracy to kill The coverage provided by 18 U.
Section — Assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees — the penalty for simple assault under this statute is a fine or imprisonment not more than one year, or both, and in all other cases, a fine or imprisonment not more than three years, or both. This statute covers " whoever Section — Penalties — for bomb and telephone threats as well as actual damage are as follows: Death of a person shall be subject to the death penalty or imprisonment for not less than 20 years or for life, fined under the title or both.
Workplace Violence Resources The below listed resources from government organizations are also available for your reference and information. Department of Labor Resources: Responding to and Preventing Violence in the Workplace.