Workplace Safety

Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission

Workplace Safety Policy

ADM-001

INTENT

Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission can best carry out its mission when there is a climate that is free from harassing, disruptive, threatening or violent behavior.

POLICY

Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission will not ignore, condone or tolerate disruptive, threatening or violent behavior by any employee, contract service provider, client, participant, vendor or visitor. Employees engaged in such behavior will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. When appropriate to the circumstances, the agency may initiate civil action or criminal prosecution. Harassing, disruptive, threatening or violent behavior is prohibited whether it occurs in person, in writing, by telephone, fax, via Internet, or through any other means of communication.

DEFINITIONS

Workplace violence: Any physical assault, threatening behavior, verbal abuse or intimidation occurring in or affecting the workplace.

Harassment: Unwelcome physical, verbal or visual contact; offensive gestures or any other offensive act directed at someone because of his/her race, creed, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other classification protected by law.

Disruptive behavior: Any behavior which disturbs, interferes with or prevents normal work functions or activities.

Threatening behavior: Includes any physical actions short of actual contact, general oral or written threats to people or property.

Violent behavior: Includes any physical assault with or without weapons; behavior that a reasonable person would consider as being violent; and specific threats to inflict physical harm.

EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES (not all inclusive)

• Yelling, shouting, using profanity or other verbal abuse.
• Waving arms, shaking fists, making offensive gestures.
• Unwelcome physical contact, invading one’s physical space, damaging one’s personal property

• Aggressive physical contact, including grabbing, touching, holding, shoving, hitting or preventing the free movement of another person.
• Any direct threats toward a person, persons or property.
• Throwing objects, intentionally slamming doors or telephones, pounding desks.
• Any destruction of property.
• Having possession of a firearm or other weapon on agency property or while performing agency business (home visits, for example). NOTE: It is a federal crime to carry a weapon on any school grounds, including Head Start centers.
• Threatening or implying possession or access to a firearm or other weapon on the premises, or threatening to return with a weapon at a later date.
• Unwelcome comments, jokes, epithets, threats, insults, name-calling, negative stereotyping, possession or display of derogatory pictures or other graphic materials, and any other words or conduct that demean, stigmatize, intimidate, or single out a person because of his or her race, creed, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other classification protected by law.
• Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include, but are not limited to sexually orientated jokes, flirtation, obscene letters or notes, inappropriate compliments, sexual propositions or advances, whistling or “cat-calling”, possession or display of sexually explicit objects or pictures, exchange of sexual gifts, inappropriate discussion of one’s sexual experiences or desires, comments about an individual’s body or appearance, sexual gestures, physical contact such as patting, pinching or purposefully rubbing up against another’s body, actual or implied demands or pressures for sexual favors, continuing to express sexual or romantic interest after being informed the interest is not welcomed, making actual or implied promises or suggestions of preferential or adverse treatment as a result of one’s acceptance or rebuttal of sexual advances, and retaliating against an employee for refusing sexual advances.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION

For employees: Harassing, threatening, violent or disruptive behavior is considered a form of employee misconduct. Disciplinary action, up to and including termination, will be taken against any employee engaging in this type of behavior. Any supervisor or manager who has knowledge of such behavior yet takes no action to end it is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Any employee who retaliates against a person for reporting harassment is also subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

For Clients, Participants, Visitors: The staff of Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission are mandated reporters of abuse or neglect, and will act according to the law in reporting any evidence of abuse or neglect witnessed while performing their job duties. Harassing, threatening, intimidating, violent or disruptive behavior toward employees or other clients, participants or visitors will not be tolerated, and may result in the person engaging in the behavior being restricted from further participation in that or other agency services, according to the seriousness of the behavior. Agency staff may report the behavior for civil action or criminal prosecution according to the situation.

REPORTING PROCEDURE

All staff, clients, participants and visitors are encouraged to report any violent, harassing, threatening or disruptive behavior they witness. To report situations of a violent nature, employees should contact local law enforcement officials immediately. When an employee or client reports violent, harassing, threatening or disruptive behavior, the program manager for the affected program will perform a comprehensive investigation of the incident. Information on the complaint, including results of the investigation, will be provided promptly and in writing to the executive director. The executive director and program manager, who may consult with other persons as determined by the executive director, will determine the action that is warranted.

Information obtained during the investigation process will remain confidential to the extent allowed in any ensuing investigative and disciplinary process. When the investigation is complete, the agency will advise the person who brought the complaint and the alleged harasser of the outcome of the investigation. If an investigation confirms that this policy has been violated, the Agency will take appropriate corrective action as warranted under the circumstances, including disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Individuals who knowingly provide false information in an investigation, or refuse to cooperate in an investigation, are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

PROTECTIVE ORDERS

Employees of Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission who have obtained a protective order prohibiting contact from another person are encouraged to notify the human resources director. The human resources director may inform other people within the agency when deemed necessary for safety reasons, however, disclosure will be limited to those individuals who have a legitimate need to know the information. Agency clients and participants are likewise encouraged to notify the appropriate agency staff of any protective orders, custody restrictions or other medical or treatment information which may affect the safety of clients, staff, visitors, or participants or their families. As with agency staff, disclosure will be limited to those individuals within the agency who have the legitimate need to know the information.