Policy 708 - Violence in the Workplace

Section: Employee Relations
Policy Number: 708
Responsible Office: HR/HR Services
Effective Date: 6/30/02
Revised: 6/14/05; 3/7/12; 5/24/13; 7/25/17; 5/25/22


This policy applies to all members of the University Community. For the purpose of this policy, the University Community includes, but is not limited to, all faculty, administrators, staff (including student workers, teaching and research fellows, doctoral and graduate assistants, tutors, interns and any other students who perform work-related functions for the University), students, alumni, interns, members of the Board of Trustees, and members of University-sponsored advisory committees. Visitors to the University, vendors and service providers also may be subject to this policy.


St. John’s University has a zero tolerance policy for violence in the workplace. Any form of violent behavior, from the seemingly insignificant to the significant, is inherently destructive to the fabric of our University community and will not be tolerated. Employees have a responsibility to report promptly to their immediate supervisor all threats or incidents of workplace violence, whether they are directed at the employee or at another member of the University Community. The supervisor, the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Human Resources will coordinate an appropriate response.

In crisis situations, or in any case where there is a concern about an immediate threat of violence or if a situation continues to escalate, employees should call 911 and contact the Department of Public Safety immediately. All campus phones can dial 911 directly.

Contact information for Public Safety is as follows:
Queens campus emergency: (718) 990-5252 (or ext. 5252)
Staten Island campus: (718) 390-4487 (or ext. 4487)
Manhattan campus: (212) 277-5155 Security Desk

Prohibited Behaviors

St. John’s University prohibits threatening or violent behaviors, directed at an individual, group of individuals, class of individuals or relatives of those individuals. The University policy applies to any threats or acts of violence related to the University workplace. Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Threats or acts of violence made directly or indirectly by words, gestures or symbols.
  • Threats or acts of violence that are targeted at any specific class of individuals.
  • Intimidating threats or acts in any manner or form that intimidate, coerce or cause fear of harm.
  • Other crimes that intimidate, interrupt departmental productivity, or cause fear of harm.
  • The use of physical force with the intent to commit harm.

Violations of the University’s policy on Violence in the Workplace may result in corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.

Prohibition of Weapons on University Property

The University expressly prohibits on University owned or controlled property or at University sponsored functions the possession, display, use, storage or distribution of any weapon to include, but not limited to, any firearm, pistol, revolver, rifle, assault weapon, shotgun, air gun, pellet gun, BB gun, ammunition, explosive, firework, stun gun, switchblade and other automatic knife, and other deadly or dangerous weapons, such as are defined in NY Penal Law Article 265.

This prohibition extends to imitation firearms and other objects that can be construed or used as weapons, and to items that pose a potential hazard to the safety or health of others, unauthorized hazardous materials or chemicals. Any use of gun replicas for educational, filming, or theatrical acting purposes must be cleared through the Department of Public Safety prior to being used for the specified purpose.

Exceptions to this policy include on-duty law enforcement officers who are legally permitted to carry weapons on campus and individuals who have received specific, written authorization from the executive director of Public Safety. Off-duty law enforcement personnel who are armed on University owned or controlled property or at University sponsored functions are required to check in with Public Safety upon arrival to present proper identification and to secure authorization.

Violations, as well as any potentially dangerous situations, should be immediately reported to the Department of Public Safety at (718) 990-5252.

Related website: Article 265 - Penal Law - Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons or cut and paste the following URL into your web browser: http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article265.htm#p265.00


St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual