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Violence in the Workplace

This page provides examples of workplace violence policies from Washington local government agencies as well as links to resources that explore some of the causes of workplace and domestic violence and offer suggestions for prevention.


Violence is all around us. The evening news will often include articles about an employee "going postal" and shooting his or her fellow employees, or an estranged spouse going to the workplace to inflict harm. Fights may break out in the lunchroom over work assignments. Violence, obviously, is disruptive, and it can be deadly. This page explores some of the reasons for violence, offers some ways to help curb it, and provides policies that provides consequences for violations.

Washington Policies and Rules

The following are policies that provide guidance as to how to deal with violence or threats of violence in the workplace.

  • Bothell Prevention of Workplace Violence - Includes section on dangerous weapons prohibitions, and violence prevention, among others
  • Okanogan County Personnel Manual Sec 6.9, Workplace Violence - Sets out procedures and expectations for employees who face dangerous situations
  • Pierce County Code Ch. 3.13 - Prohibits domestic violence and sets out procedures and responsibilities to be taken when domestic violence situations occur

Articles and Resources

The following materials explore some of the causes of workplace and domestic violence and offer suggestions for prevention, including steps that can be taken by employers and employees.

  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2012 - What is workplace Violence? Provides in bullet outline form information on what workplace violence is, what factors can increase violence, and what can be done to deal with violent situations.
  • Workplace Violence Fact Sheet, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety, 2002 - Health Administration helps identify violent situations, addresses who is vulnerable, and provides information on what employers and employees can do to be protected.
  • Preventing Workplace Violence, prepared by AFSCME - A good article discussing the nature of violence, its causes and effects, and what steps can be taken to deal with violence.
  • Health and Safety Topics: Workplace Violence, U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration - Links to articles that address various issues involving violence
  • Work/Life Group Workplace Violence, U.S. Office of Personnel Management - A detailed review of what agencies can do to deal with workplace violence
  • Domestic Violence in the Workplace, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence - Offers results from a focus group review and provides recommendations for prevention of workplace violence

Last Modified: July 19, 2016