Policy Information

PDF Version

Number: 1C.5

Name: Workplace Violence Policy

Author: Policy Committee

Effective Date: August 21, 2017

Next Review Date: Spring 2022

Regulatory Authority

Part 1. Policy Background.

In adherence to Minnesota Statutes 15.86, and in accordance with Minnesota State Procedure 1C.0.1 Part 4, Subpart F, Employee Code of Conduct, North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) is committed to a workplace environment free from harassment, threats, intimidation, coercion, and any form of violence for all members of the campus community including employees, students, and visitors of the college. It is the responsibility of all employees to promote and maintain a productive environment for learning and working by enforcing “zero tolerance” for violent behavior.

Through education and training, NHCC seeks to foster a work environment and culture that is absent of violence for employees students and customers. NHCC acknowledges that violent situations occur. For those situations, the college will attempt to reduce the negative consequences of violence for those employees or students who are victims.

Part 2. Definitions.

Subpart A. Workplace.

Workplace refers to any location, permanent or temporary, where an employee performs any work-related duty. This includes, but is not limited to NHCC buildings and surrounding perimeters, including parking lots, field locations, classrooms, alternate work locations, NHCC-sponsored events, college owned or leased vehicles.

Subpart B. Violence.

Minnesota Statute 15.8 defines violence as follows:

“Violence is the abusive or unjust exercise of power, intimidation, harassment and/or the threatened or actual use of force which results in or has a high likelihood of causing hurt, fear, suffering or death.”

Part 3. Acts of Work-related Violence.

NHCC prohibits threats and acts of violence in the workplace. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • The actual or implied threat of harm to an individual (including oneself) or a group of individuals.
  • Striking, punching, spitting, grabbing, pinching, shoving, slapping or other forms of physical attacking.
  • Fighting or challenging another person to fight.
  • Engaging in dangerous, threatening, or unwanted horseplay.
  • Throwing equipment and/or damaging college property.
  • Harassing surveillance or stalking.
  • Making telephone calls or sending emails that threaten, intimidate, or harass.
  • Intentionally impeding one’s path, not allowing them to pass.
  • Engaging in behavior that would subject a reasonable person to, and does subject another individual to, extreme emotional distress.

Part 4. Possession/Threat/Use of Dangerous Weapons

NHCC prohibits the possession, use, or threat of dangerous weapons as defined in Minnesota Statute Section 609.02, on the college campus or at college-sponsored events or activities, except by authorized personnel (such as law enforcement officials). Refer to Minnesota State Policy 5.21 Possession or Carry of Firearms.

Subpart A. Prohibited Weapons.

Prohibited weapons include (but are not limited to):

  • Any weapon which, per applicable law, is illegal to possess
  • Any firearms, loaded or unloaded, assembled or disassembled, including pellet, "BB," and stun guns (electronic incapacitation devices)
  • Replicate firearms, as defined in Minnesota Statute 609.713
  • Knives (and other similar instruments) with a blade length of more than three inches, other than those present in the workplace for the specific purpose of food preparation and service
  • Any “switchblade” knife
  • “Brass knuckles,” “metal knuckles,” and similar weapons
  • Bows, cross-bows and arrows
  • Explosives and explosive devices, including fireworks and incendiary devices
  • “Throwing stars,” “nunchucks,” clubs, saps, and any other item commonly used as, or primarily intended for use as, a weapon
  • Any other object not listed above that has been modified to serve as, or has been employed as a dangerous weapon.

Subpart B. Exceptions.

  1. Equipment such as unsharpened knives or swords may be possessed on campus during NHCC recognized clubs or class activities. Such equipment must be kept in the classroom, club storage area, or the advisor or instructor’s office. Prior approval from the club advisor or instructor must be obtained before such activity.
  2. Firearms, used for theatrical purposes must be disabled and stored with the faculty/director when not being used in rehearsal or theatre production.
  3. Knives or swords used for a culturally specific practice may be permitted with notification to NHCC Public Safety.

Part 5. Reporting and Investigation

Subpart A. Reporting Obligation.

All members of the NHCC community have an obligation to help maintain a safe work environment. Threats of violent behavior must be reported. The college shall maintain the confidentiality of workplace violence investigations to the extent possible. Any individual who believes s/he has been, or may be a target of violence should contact Public Safety or local law enforcement (911).

Administrators and supervisors are empowered to take immediate action to resolve or stabilize violent situations in the workplace, and to protect people from harm. They will ensure that, when a threat is made or violent incident occurs, an appropriate response is immediately taken. Administrators and supervisors will also ensure that appropriate disciplinary responses to internal workplace violence and aggression are made. They will carry out these responsibilities with the assistance of the College’s Department of Public Safety, Office of Human Resources and, as appropriate, other state and local government agents.

Subpart B. Investigation.

Upon report of an alleged violation of this policy, NHCC will take prompt action, which may include immediate action to insure the safety of employees, students, and visitors at the college.

  1. Employees. The Human Resources Director or designee will investigate allegations of workplace violence and recommend disciplinary action, if warranted, to address any threats or acts of violence.
  2. Students. The Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or designee will investigate allegations of student-related violence and recommend discipline according to the Student Code of Conduct.
  3. Visitors. The Director of Public Safety or designee will address allegations of violence or threats of violence by visitors, including referral to law enforcement, if warranted.

Part 6. Consequences of Policy Violation

Violations of this policy are subject to timely involvement of law enforcement agencies when appropriate.

Subpart A. Employees.

Employees in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as set out in the contracts governing their conditions of employment.

Subpart B. Students.

Students in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline as defined in NHCC 3.6 Student Conduct Policy and NHCC 3.6.1 Student Conduct Procedure.

Subpart C. Visitors.

The College will respond promptly, including referral to law enforcement, if warranted, to any violence of visitors.

Part 7. Campus Review

Review Action Date(s)
Campus Community Review Period 13-Mar-2017—24-Mar-2017
AFSCME Review 25-Apr-201
MAPE Review 25-Apr-2017
MMA Review 25-Apr-2017
Shared Governance Council Review 23-Jun-2017
Student Senate Review 13-Apr-2017
President Approval 21-Aug-2017
Campus Community Dissemination 28-Aug-2017


  • Formerly NH VI.06.03 Zero Tolerance of Workplace Violence
  • Adopted 28-Feb-1997 by Ann Wynia
  • Updated 24-Sep-2002
  • Completely Revised and Rewritten Spring 2017