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Workplace Violence

Members of the Johns Hopkins community are urged to report all observed or experienced behaviors of concern and acts of violence to an appropriate campus authority in a timely manner.

If you witness or know about a threatening behavior that indicates someone

  • Is at risk for becoming violent or
  • Has violated workplace or on-campus violence policies,

it is very important that you let someone know immediately so that the Risk Assessment Team can be notified. Your supervisor, manager, academic advisor, human resources professional or security should notify a member of the multidisciplinary Risk Assessment Team either in person, by phone, or submitting the Report a Threat or Risk form.

JHU and JHHS have adopted policies on workplace safety that call for a zero tolerance of violent behaviors, threats, bullying, intimidation, and any behavior of concern that contributes to an abusive work environment. Johns Hopkins will not tolerate verbal abuse; offensive conduct/behaviors which are intimidating, humiliating, or threatening; or hostile or violent acts on their campuses or in their programs. The policies apply to all faculty, staff, employees, and students at their respective institutions.

Reported behaviors of concern and acts of violence are responded to and handled in a manner that respects the privacy of all involved. If indicated, a thorough, systematic, and consistent evaluation may occur which results in findings, guidance and recommendations to management.

Johns Hopkins will not permit employment-based retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint of disruptive behavior or act of violence, or who speaks as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.

Johns Hopkins Continuum of Disruptive Behaviors at Work

Informed by workplace bullying research, Safe at Hopkins examined risk oriented conduct seen in previous Johns Hopkins workplace violence cases to catalog and define precipitating behaviors across a spectrum adapted from Gary Namie, PhD. This work led to the Johns Hopkins Continuum of Disruptive Behaviors at Work which anchors the early intervention work of Safe at Hopkins. Lists of specific actions for each category of behavior emerged as part of ongoing research on disruptive behaviors at work. Awareness of these specific actions, or definitions, brings consistency to understanding and discussing the behaviors on the continuum.

Behaviors of Concern Begin
Early Identification of Safety Concerns
Higher Risk for Workplace Violence, Despair, Suicide
Behaviors of Concern

Inappropriate Behaviors

Inappropriate behavior is often seen as the way a person “broadcasts” him or herself. When inappropriate behavior is not managed, one may push the limits and become disruptive. Some specific actions include: making rude, loud, and off-colored remarks, telling degrading jokes, and swearing in public.

Behaviors of Concern

Disrespectful Behavior

Disrespectful behavior is more hostile than inappropriate behavior and is usually aimed directly at another person. Some specific actions include: criticizing or dismissing achievements, degrading others, and shouting.

Early Identification of Safety Concern

Mild Bullying

Johns Hopkins has defined workplace bullying as repeated mistreatment of a person that may result in harm to one’s health and that takes one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse; offensive conduct/behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; or interference that prevents work from getting done.

Mild bullying includes the behaviors defined above which are aimed directly at another person. Some specific actions are denying access to necessary information, creating isolation, and giving the silent treatment.

Early Identification of Safety Concern

Moderate to Severe Bullying

Johns Hopkins has defined workplace bullying as repeated mistreatment of a person that may result in harm to one’s health and that takes one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse; offensive conduct/behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; or interference that prevents work from getting done.

Moderate to severe bullying includes the behaviors of mild bullying with increased frequency and personalization of mistreatment. Some specific actions are starting gossip campaigns about a person’s character, falsely accusing someone of errors, imposing impossible deadlines, and retaliating for perceived wrongs.

High Risk Behaviors

Stalking

Stalking involves individuals who harass, follow, or give unwanted attention and gifts. Specific actions include: a pattern of repeated unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communication by phone, email, text, or social media.

High Risk Behaviors

Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic/intimate partner violence occurs when one partner uses physical violence, intimidation, threats, or emotional, sexual, or economic abuse to control the other partner.  Because the controlling partner can easily locate the victim at work, domestic violence can create a workplace safety concern.

High Risk Behaviors

Stated Threats

Stated threats express an emotional, sexual, psychological, or economic message of future danger. Specific actions include: a direct threat – I’m going to kill you; an indirect threat – I’m going to make sure that you get what you deserve; or a conditional threat – If he fires me, I will kill him.

High Risk Behaviors

Physical Violence

Violence is any action that threatens the safety of employees, residents, students, or patients; impacts their physical or psychological well-being; or causes damage to the institutions’ property.

High Risk Behaviors

Serious Injury and Harm

Serious injury and harm can involve the use of weapons, necessary medical attention, and homicide.

Carlstrom, M., Meadowcroft, K. & Rammacca, J. (2013) Johns Hopkins University and Health System. All rights reserved.

Brochures depicting the continuum and information about preventing disruptive behaviors at work from escalating are available for download or in hard copy.

General Awareness Brochure for Employees

Brochure for Leaders