August 23, 2011
SUBJECT: Mid South Area Workplace Violence Policy Statement
TO: Mid South Area Employees
FROM: Edgar G. King, Area Director //s//
The Mid South Area (MSA) is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees. It is the policy of the MSA that an employee who engages in violence in the workplace will be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including termination. The MSA will respond promptly to threats, acts of violence, and acts of aggression by employees or against employees by coworkers or others. The purpose of this document is to assist the MSA employees in our efforts to reduce the risk of violence occurring in each employee respective workplace. The Mid South Area Workplace Violence Policy Statement is intended to serve as a resource document and a reference source for information to all employees and affiliates of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
The term "workplace violence" is defined as any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. The MSA prohibits workplace violence and will not tolerate violence, threats of violence, or intimidating conduct in the workplace. Complaints of workplace violence will be given serious attention. Security and safety in the workplace requires the cooperation of every employee.
Employees who engage in actions or threats of violent behavior toward other employees, students, or the public while at or in work related activities will be disciplined, up to and including dismissal and/or arrest. The purpose of this policy is to deal with workplace violence proactively under “Zero Tolerance”, through education, mediation, consultation, before it escalates to the formal level of disciplinary action. Workplace violence incidents reaching the formal level will be dealt with by relevant rules, regulations, and policies.
Any individual who experiences or witnesses violence, threats of violence or harassing behavior, or who has reason to suspect that these acts or behaviors are occurring, and may be of a criminal nature, should immediately notify a manager /supervisor or the Area Office.
Retaliation: To better ensure a safe workplace and to encourage responsible reporting of violence in the workplace, retaliation or harassment against a person making a report in good faith, will not be tolerated and may subject the person engaging in alleged retaliation to discipline by relevant USDA policy to the fullest extent.
For additional information regarding preventing workplace violence, please review REE Policy & Procedure 122.1 found at the following website: http://www.afm.ars.usda.gov/ppweb/
Please provide this memorandum to all employees of the Mid South Area and prominently display in offices.