Workplace Violence

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University Policy Number 2208


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure: N/A

Related Law & Policy:

I. Scope

This policy applies to all University Employees, students, visitors, and contractors. If conduct described in this policy also falls under University Policy 1202: Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Interpersonal Violence (e.g. dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking) or University Policy 1201: Non-Discrimination Policy (e.g. harassment based on race, color, or religion) then those policies will supersede this policy. The conduct of students who are not employees falls under the George Mason University Code of Student Conduct.

II. Policy Statement

George Mason University is committed to providing a safe learning, living, and working environment for all members of the University community. This policy prohibits specific forms of behavior that constitute Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct.

Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct includes any of the following conduct committed against a University faculty or staff member at any location where a faculty or staff member performs any work-related duty, including travel to and from work assignments:

  • Physical assault or unwanted touching;
  • engaging in behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury or substantial emotional stress to another person;
  • possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon that is not required by the individual’s position while on campus or engaged in official business;
  • intentionally damaging property;
  • threatening to injure an individual or to damage property;
  • other abusive conduct in the workplace that an objectively reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the University’s legitimate interests, which causes substantial emotional distress (e.g., bullying);
  • aiding, facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of any act prohibited by this policy (i.e., complicity); or
  • retaliating against any employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of this policy (i.e., retaliation).

The University supports a zero-tolerance approach to Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct. This conduct undermines the character and purpose of the University and will not be tolerated. Some forms of Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct may also constitute crimes under Virginia law, which may subject a person to criminal prosecution and punishment in addition to any sanctions under this policy.

Employees who violate this policy may face disciplinary action up to and including termination. The University will take prompt and equitable action to eliminate Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.


The University offers a wide range of resources for people affected by Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct.

  1. Law Enforcement:

 Report all immediate concerns about threats to health and safety to University Police.

  1. The University:

 Contact the University for support (non-emergency) regarding any violations of this policy.

* These offices are confidential support resources for students and student-employees affected by Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct.


The University will offer reasonable and appropriate measures to protect any employee who presents as a victim of any Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct and will facilitate continued access to University employment. These measures may be both remedial (designed to address safety and well-being) or protective (involving action against an accused person). Remedial and protective measures, which may be temporary or permanent, may include but are not limited to, work schedule modifications, suspension from employment, and pre-disciplinary leave (with or without pay). The University will maintain the privacy of any remedial and protective measures provided under this policy to the extent practicable and will promptly address any violation of the protective measures.

For consultation on these issues, contact University Police or Employee Relations.


  1. If you feel that someone you know intends to cause harm to themselves or others, please notify University Police at (703) 993-2810.
  2. CAMPUS ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION TEAM (CAIT): The University’s Campus Assessment and Intervention Team (CAIT) is committed to improving community safety through a proactive, collaborative, coordinated, objective, and thoughtful approach to the prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, and management of situations that pose, or may reasonably pose, a threat to the safety and well-being of the campus community.
  3. For a current list of free on-campus violence prevention resources, see


As an effort to promote campus safety, the University collects information from employees in order to respond appropriately to all reported incidents of crimes, accidents, fires, emergencies, and prohibited sexual conduct affecting members of the campus community in compliance with state and federal laws. See University Policy 1404: Reporting of Crimes, Accidents, Fires and Other Emergencies and University Policy 1412: Reporting of Clery Act Crimes and/or Prohibited Sexual Conduct.


The University provides training to faculty and staff in recognizing conditions that might contribute to Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct, and to properly address and respond to these situations. The University provides such training on a regular basis.

III. Definitions

University Employees: means all employees of the University, including research and instructional faculty, administrative and professional faculty, classified staff, non-student wage employees, and student employees.

IV. Dates:

A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:

 January 22, 2018

 V. Timetable for Review

This policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.

VI. Signatures


Senior Vice President


Date Approved: August 17, 2011

Revision Approved: September 18, 2007

Revision Approved: August 11, 2011

Revision Approved: February 13, 2018