Policy: Zero Tolerance in the Workplace (1B.1.3)

See PDF copy of this policy.

State Law – In 1992, the Minnesota Legislature adopted the following into State statute (sections 1.50 and 15.90): “The State of Minnesota adopts a policy of zero tolerance of violence.  It is State policy that every person in the State has a right to live free from violence.”


Part 1.  Definition of Violence

In 1994, the Minnesota Legislature’s Violence Prevention Advisory Task Force endorsed this definition of violence as a reference for those working on violence prevention issues: “Violence is the abusive or unjust exercise of power, intimidation, harassment, and/or threat or actual use of force which results in or has a high likelihood of causing hurt, fear, injury, suffering, or death.”


Workplace violence generally falls into three categories: (a) a violent act or threat (perceived or real) by a current or former employee, supervisor, or manager, or someone who has some involvement with a current or former employee, such as an employee’s spouse, significant other, relative, or other person who had a dispute with an employee; (b) a violent act or threat (perceived or real) by someone receiving service from the agency; or (c) a violent act by someone unrelated to the work environment.


Part 2.  Rochester Community and Technical College’s Policy

It is the policy of Rochester Community and Technical College, and the responsibility of its employees, students, and visitors, to maintain a workplace free from threats and acts of violence. Rochester Community and Technical College will work to provide a safe workplace for its employees, students, and visitors.


Each employee, student, and visitor with whom we come into contact in our work at Rochester Community and Technical College deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect; accomplished by encouraging mutual respect among all individuals, establishing open and honest communication, and enforcing zero tolerance for any type of violent behavior.


Rochester Community and Technical College will work, through information, training, and enforcement, to foster a work environment and culture that is devoid of violence for employees, students, and visitors. Rochester Community and Technical College will:


  • Actively work to prevent and eliminate acts of work‑related violence.
  • Clarify and enforce expectations regarding behaviors for employees, students, and visitors.
  • Respond promptly, positively, and aggressively to deal with threats or acts of violence; including the timely involvement of law enforcement agencies when appropriate.
  • Prohibit the possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons in the workplace.
  • Treat seriously any and all incidents of work-related threats or acts of violence.
  • Promptly investigate all threats or acts of violence and take appropriate action.
  • Take strong disciplinary actions, up to and including discharge from State employment, against employees who are involved in the commission of work‑related threats or acts of violence.
  • Support criminal prosecution of those who threaten or commit work‑related violence against its employees, students, or visitors (pursuant of Minnesota Statute 15.86, this policy does not create any civil liability on the part of the State of Minnesota).
  • Provide information and training for employees, students, and visitors to foster a work environment that is safe, respectful, proactive, and responsive to threats (perceived or real) or acts of violence.


Date of Implementation:  Immediately
Date of Adoption: 12/8/98
Revisions Adopted: 2/28/17