SECTION INDEX:    Workplace Violence

1    Purpose

2    Reference

3    Application

4    Guidance

4.1    Weapons and Searches

4.2    Examples of Threatening or Violent Behavior

4.3    Protective Orders

4.4    Responsibilities

4.5    Reporting

4.6    Imminent Danger/Violence Incident Procedure

4.7    Security Precautions


It is the City of Olympia’s intent to provide a workplace free from all forms of threatening and violent behavior.


•    WAC, Department of Labor and Industries, 296-24

•    RCW 51.08.013, Workers’ Compensation


This Policy applies to all persons employed by the City of Olympia. It applies wherever City of Olympia employees may be working, engaging in work related activities with City of Olympia approval and sponsorship, or representing the City of Olympia. This Policy also applies to all City of Olympia volunteers while they are representing the City.

Failure to comply with this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination from City service.



Possession or use of dangerous weapons is prohibited by City employees or volunteers on City property, in a City vehicle, or in any personal vehicle which is used for City business. Dangerous weapons for the purpose of this policy include but are not limited to: firearms of any kind, knives, objects that contain a knife or knife like instrument (e.g. “Leatherman tool, Swiss army knife, etc,, unless the employee’s position requires the use of such an item), swords, daggers, batons or brass knuckles, explosives of any kind or any object altered in such a manner as to make it useful primarily as an offensive weapon. Possession includes location of a dangerous weapon on an employee’s person, lunch bag, desk, work area, locker, purse, briefcase, backpack, clothing or other work related location.

There are two exceptions:

•    The employee possessing the weapon is a commissioned law enforcement officer, or is an employee or volunteer assigned a weapon consistent with their work (e.g. park maintenance or probation work crews) and the weapon is used consistent with the assigned duties.

•    The employee is legally in possession of a firearm and the firearm is secured within an attended personal vehicle or secured and concealed from view within a locked unattended personal vehicle while the employee is working for the City, provided that no weapon will be allowed in a personal vehicle while the vehicle is being used for City business.

Lockers, desks, computers, file cabinets, work area, locker room, etc. are the property of the City and as such may be searched at any time and under any circumstances by representatives of the City assigned to do such a search. Additionally, by bringing a personal item onto City premises (such as a brief case, lunch sack, purse or any other personal item), the City employee has agreed to submit that item to an involuntary search consistent with law, if the employee is accused of threatening or violent behavior, and City representatives will seize any items deemed necessary to protect employees or public. Any such search will be conducted in a discrete manner and will be as narrow in scope as possible.


Examples of on-the-job conduct that may be considered threatening or violent behavior and are prohibited by the City include but are not limited to:

a.    Intentional pushing, shoving, tripping, hitting or otherwise coming in direct contact with another person or property for the purpose of doing harm, or using an object to accomplish the above.

b.    Brandishing a weapon, threatening to use a weapon, or using a weapon against another person.

c.    Verbal threats of violence or verbal statements which are furious, intense, extremely distorted and which are meant to cause injury or create a threatening environment.

d.    Visual gestures that threaten violence.

e.    Creating, distribution or posting of written or electronic material that threatens to sabotage or destroy equipment or material, or do physical harm to another person or persons.

f.    Sexual violence.

g.    Bomb threats or other threats intended to harm persons or damage property.


Any employee who applies for or obtains a protective or restraining order relevant to the work place that prohibits contact with the employee while at work by another, must advise his/her supervisor of such a protective order.


a.    Employees: Employees are expected to cooperate in any investigation conducted under this policy. Employees who do not cooperate or who intentionally make false or misleading statements or accusations will be subject to discipline in accordance with City policies and applicable labor agreements.

b.    Management: Management shall take all reasonable actions to prevent violence in a specific case if they have reason to think it will occur, including conducting investigations on reported threats or acts of violence.


All acts of violence or threats of violence will be reported to the employee’s supervisor or any supervisor in the City. Supervisors are responsible for determining the appropriate way to resolve the situation including referring to management and/or the Police Department.


Any employee who reasonably believes that a situation with an aggressive employee, resident, guest, contractor, vendor or other party may immediately become violent, putting the employee in imminent danger, should promptly leave the work area and report to his/her supervisor or another City supervisor. In emergency situations employees shall call law enforcement directly.


City security policies and rules must be adhered to at all times. To prevent inappropriate outside access, rules must be strictly followed. It is especially important that building security rules and procedures are enforced at all times.

Revision history: January 2015; October 2013; September 2011; April 2011. Superseded: Administrative Guideline Workplace Violence”.