The Office of Human Resources

Workplace Violence Prevention and Workplace Conduct

Brandeis is committed to providing a safe workplace for all faculty, staff, students and visitors. To maximize a safe work environment and to reduce the risk of violence or threatening behavior, all faculty and staff should review and understand the provisions of this policy for prevention of workplace violence.

Safety is the university’s top priority in any and all cases where the possibility of violence exists.


This policy applies to Brandeis faculty and staff, including those with visiting and temporary appointments. For the policy regarding students, see the Student “Rights & Responsibilities” handbook.


Prohibited Conduct

Brandeis does not tolerate any type of workplace violence, intimidating behavior or threats of violence committed or communicated by any member of the Brandeis faculty or staff against any member of the Brandeis community or those visiting the university. Employees are prohibited from making threats or engaging in intimidating and/or violent behavior and activities. Furthermore, any threats or intimidating behavior directed at a member of the Brandeis community by an individual not employed at Brandeis University will not be tolerated and should be reported immediately to the Office of Public Safety and the Office of Human Resources.

Emergency Situations

Imminent threats or violent incidents must be immediately reported to the Office of Public Safety. Public safety can be reached by dialing ext. 6-3333 (on campus) or 781-736-3333 (from an outside line). Emergency phones are located across the Brandeis campus.

Management, Faculty and Staff Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all members of the Brandeis community, including the administration, faculty and staff, to be responsive to conduct that is inappropriate and/or may cause concern about workplace violence. While the university does not expect faculty or staff to be skilled at identifying potentially dangerous persons, all members of the Brandeis community are expected to exercise good judgment and to inform the Office of Public Safety or the Office of Human Resources if anyone exhibits behavior that is of concern.

Such behavior may include, but is not limited to:

  • Causing physical injury to another person or encouraging a third party to cause harm.
  • Physical fighting with, or assault of, any individual, whether an employee, student, vendor or visitor of Brandeis.
  • Possession of a weapon while on university property or while on university business (weapons include but are not limited to guns, knives, ammunition and explosives).
  • Making threatening remarks, even in a joking manner; circulating threatening literature or pictures; making bomb threats; and similar behavior.
  • Aggressive or hostile behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury or harm to another individual, or subjects another individual to emotional distress.
  • Intentional damaging university property or property of another employee or community.
  • Using or misusing university property, equipment, chemicals or other dangerous or potentially dangerous materials in order to cause or threaten harm.
  • Displaying overt signs of resentment, hostility or anger to the extent that another individual is in fear of injury or harm.
  • Displaying irrational behavior, or behavior inappropriate to a situation, to the extent that another individual is in fear of injury or harm.
  • Throwing and/or slamming things; kicking or hitting things; destroying or defacing Brandeis property, or of another individual’s property; or yelling/screaming in such a manner that another individual is in fear of injury or harm.
  • Threatening or intimidating an individual, including an employee, student, vendor or visitor.

This list provides guidelines for monitoring conduct and is not intended to be a complete list of behaviors that may be unacceptable at Brandeis.

Contact Information

All members of the Brandeis community are strongly urged to contact the Office of Public Safety (781-736-3333) if it is believed that there is an immediate risk of danger. If there does not appear to be an immediate safety concern, employees should seek help either from the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Public Safety for concerns about a staff or faculty member. Contact should be made as soon as possible and before taking any action. Concerns about students should be directed to Office of Student Life.

Anonymous Complaints

The university takes seriously all complaints regarding threatening, potentially violent or violent behavior. Anonymous complaints will be investigated to the extent possible, given the information provided. The university encourages individuals to come forward so that adequate information can be obtained for an appropriate investigation.

While confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, the university will work to preserve confidentiality to the extent possible and to attempt to allay any safety concerns of the complainant. The university will not tolerate retaliation or reprisals against individuals who, in good faith, make reports or complaints, or who cooperate in the investigation of such complaints.

Violence Prevention and Response

Workplace violence — perceived, potential or actual — can be frightening and complex. In managing these issues, safety is the university’s top priority; however, the university also attempts to respect the rights and privacy of all involved when handling complaints and investigations. An immediate and thoughtful case-by-case approach is critical to a successful investigation, violence prevention and resolution.

Corrective Action

Threats, threatening conduct or any other acts of aggression or violence in the workplace will not be tolerated. Any employee determined by the university to have violated this policy will be subject to corrective action, up to and including immediate release from employment.

Nonemployees engaged in violent acts on university premises will be reported to the proper Brandeis University authorities and may be subject to prosecution.

Fitness for Duty

When in the judgment of the university there is sufficient concern for the safety of an individual or others, the university reserves the right to compel an individual to take leave and undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation.