"Threats" are situations which according to Encarta Dictionary “involves the expression of an intention to cause harm or pain” And any expressions of this kind are against company policy and counter to the laws of Canada. Anyone being subjected to such threats is required to report this occurrence to management immediately. In the workplace there are often situations that create stress and anxiety, nevertheless no situation ever justifies threats against a fellow employee. Reportable threats involve a real or implied action of violence- it is NOT A THREAT for anyone to say ‘I will report you if you don’t do this or that” it is an offence to tell another employee that they will be assaulted if they do not follow a specific course of action. Even the implied action of physical harm is sufficient to require a report.
It is unacceptable to imply violence under the guise of a joke, making remarks such as “I’ll kill you if you don’t do this” may be made in a humorous manner but it is nevertheless unacceptable under company policy. Humor cannot be used as an excuse for bad behavior. As in all cases where the report might be one person’s word against another without witnesses a report should still be made and the event will adjudicated by management. If anyone in the company overhears a person threatening another employee they are required to report the incident in order for management to investigate. Such situations will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality.
Any employee who feels as though they are under the threat of violence must report this event as soon as possible. Events such as this can be transmitted during face to face confrontations, in the office, outside the office or at company events. Calls between employees outside of office hours of a threatening nature are also unacceptable. It is unacceptable for threats to be directed at employees by clients, suppliers, members of the public via conversation, emails, faxes, telephone calls or in writing.
Anyone being subjected to threats of any kind is to respond in the following manner:
1. If in a face to face situation attempt to leave the area immediately and should the threat continue, a call to 911 is advised and the police should be requested to attend.
2. Threats uttered during a ‘phone conversation requires that the employee receiving the call should hang up and make a report to management. A threat can include obscene language or general abuse.
3. Electronic communications that include a threat should be kept for evidence; no replies should be made to any threatening communications.
4. Immediately any employee feels at risk from another person a call to 911 is required after which management should be quickly notified.
5. It is always important to write down the details of any threats as soon after the event as possible. If anyone else within earshot hears the threats they should be asked to provide a witness statement.