Stated threats fall closer to physical violence, injury, and death at the end of the Johns Hopkins Continuum of Disruptive Behaviors at Work, along with other moderate to severely disruptive behaviors such as bullying, stalking, domestic/intimate partner violence. Stated threats express an emotional, sexual, psychological, or economic message of future danger, and they require early action for intervention.
It is important to recognize these behaviors, and to say something if you see any of them so that they don’t escalate and cause a greater risk of harm to faculty, staff, students, and the community. Johns Hopkins takes all stated threats seriously whether or not it’s intended as a figure of speech. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System have adopted policies that call for zero tolerance of violent behavior, threats, bullying, and intimidation. Johns Hopkins will not permit employment-based retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint of workplace violence or who speaks as a witness in the investigation of a complaint of workplace violence.
The situations in which problematic behavior can occur in the workplace are diverse. One of the most important behaviors that employees should recognize and report are stated threats of violence. It is important to report stated threats whether they are direct or indirect. The ASIS International and the Society for Human Resources Management Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Standard describes three different types of stated threats:
- A direct threat – “I’m going to kill you!”
- An indirect threat – “I’m going to make sure that you get what you deserve!”
- A conditional threat – “If he fires me, I will kill him!”
All stated threats of violence should be reported immediately to a supervisor or academic advisor. If at any time you are concerned for your safety and require an immediate response, contact Campus Security or dial 911.
Awareness means understanding that behaviors left unchecked can escalate into violence. If there is a behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it. Take action well before the point at which violence might occur. If you or someone you know is concerned about any of these behaviors, contact your supervisor or academic advisor, human resources/labor relations, Security, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, or the Workplace Risk Assessment program manager at .