Establishing a Zero-Tolerance Workplace Violence Policy

In the U.S., acts of violence and other injuries are the third-leading cause of workplace fatalities. Your best and first defense of protecting your employees, delivery drivers, clients, customers, vendors, contractors, and visitors is to establish a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy.

Consider the following sample policy:

“It is [your company’s name] policy to provide a workplace that is safe and free from all threatening and intimidating conduct. Therefore, the company will not tolerate violence or threats of violence of any form in the workplace, at work-related functions or outside of work if it affects the workplace. This policy applies to company employees, clients, customers, guests, vendors and persons doing business with [your company’s name].

zero-tolerance workplace violence policy

It is a violation of this policy to engage in any conduct, verbal or physical, that intimidates, endangers, or creates the perception of intimidation or intent to harm persons or property. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Physical assaults or threats of physical assault, whether made in person or by other means (e.g., in writing or by phone, text or email)
  • Verbal conduct that is intimidating and has the purpose or effect of threatening the health or safety of another individual
  • Any other conduct or acts that management believes represent an imminent or potential danger to safety or security

Anyone with questions or complaints about behaviors that fall under this policy may discuss them with a supervisor or a Human Resources representative. The company will promptly and thoroughly investigate any reported occurrences or threats of violence. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

When such actions involve non-employees, the Company will take action appropriate for the circumstances. When appropriate, [your company’s name] will also take any legal actions available and necessary to stop the conduct and protect the Company, our employees and property.”

In addition to having a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy, provide ongoing training to employees and managers. Educate them about your workplace violence prevention plan and how to report threats or incidents. Your plan should include:

  • How to assess the situation
  • Getting help
  • Warning employees
  • Securing the workplace
  • Involving the police and gathering information to assist the investigation
  • Follow-up activities like debriefing employees, resuming operations and long-term planning

You may also want to conduct mock training exercises with local law enforcement.

For more information, please contact your Stratus.hr Rep. Not a current Stratus.hr client? Complete the form below and our team will be in contact with you shortly!







    Sher Shields, MBA

    Author Sher Shields, MBA

    With an MBA and an HR background, Sher helps with all sorts of marketing odds and ends such as articles, newsletters, emails, blogs, website content, ads, and more. While she prefers to spend her free time playing or coaching youth sports, she's more like an unpaid Uber driver shuttling her kids to all the things.

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