Preventing Workplace Violence

May 2017 Safety Topic

Columbia University Medical Center recognizes the impact that workplace violence can have on its employees, and as a result, maintains a zero-tolerance policy against acts and threats of violence of all kinds. Violence in the workplace is unacceptable and all complaints are taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated.

According to CUMC’s policy, workplace violence is any behavior that is violent, threatens violence, harasses or intimidates others, interferes with an inpidual’s right of movement or expression, or disrupts the workplace or academic environment.

Here are some examples:

  • Slapping, punching, shoving, or other physical attack meant to cause harm
  • Verbal harassment, such as abusive or offensive language or gestures
  • Disorderly conduct, such as shouting
  • Throwing or pushing objects, punching walls, pounding desks, and slamming doors
  • Making false, malicious, or unproven statements against coworkers, which tend to damage their reputations or undermine their authority
  • Bringing firearms, knives, or other dangerous weapons to the workplace
  • Using any object as a weapon
  • Electronically communicating threats, intimidation, or harassment

Inpiduals who violate CUMC’s policy may be removed from University property and are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, consistent with University policies, rules, and collective bargaining agreements, and/or referred to law enforcement authorities.

As a member of the CUMC community, you have an obligation to help maintain a safe work environment. Threats of violent behavior must be reported, and will be treated confidentially.

If there is an immediate threat of violence, call the Department of Public Safety at 212-305-7979 or call 911 immediately.

If the threat of violence is not immediate but might lead to a serious incident, please notify one of the following for next steps:

  • Your supervisor
  • Your local Human Resources representative
  • CU Human Resources at 212-305-3819
  • CU Public Safety at 212-305-8100

As a CUMC employee, it is your responsibility to review and comply with CUMC’s workplace violence prevention policy and all other safety and security measures.

Download our workplace violence prevention flyer.