U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250
SUBJECT:Workplace Violence Prevention Program
DATE:May 31, 2000
OPI:Office of Human Resources Management
Violence and threats of violence have become linked increasingly with the Federal workplace. Their origin can be internal from our coworkers or external from our clients or others. This Departmental Regulation establishes the policy of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the prevention of workplace violence.
Acts or threats of violence against persons or property will not be tolerated. This includes acts of intimidation or harassment, or other inappropriate behavior which causes fear for personal safety. These acts or threats will be cause for serious disciplinary action and possible criminal charges.
Possession, use, or threat of use of a firearm, explosive, or other dangerous weapon by the following individuals is prohibited:
a USDA employees at work,
b anyone in USDA Government owned or leased workplaces,
c anyone in privately owned vehicles on official USDA business,
d anyone in USDA Government owned or leased vehicles,
e anyone in privately owned vehicles parked in USDA Government owned or leased areas.
Exemption to these prohibitions is permitted only when the weapon is a necessary and documented, approved job requirement. Agency heads may make additional prohibitions as to the possession, use, or threat of use of a firearm, explosive, or other dangerous weapon as appropriate for their work environments. The term "dangerous weapon" as used in this Departmental Regulation has the meaning given to it in 18 U.S.C. 930(g)(2).
Agency heads may request further exemptions to prohibition 2e as appropriate for their work environments. These exemptions must be requested from, and approved by, the Assistant Secretary for Administration, and must ensure that weapons are unloaded and/or adequately secured at all times.
Other than as specified in Sections 2a through e, lawful possession or use of a firearm, explosive, or other dangerous weapon on Forest Service (FS) land is subject to FS regulation.
Subcabinet officials will ensure that policies and procedures to prevent and to respond to workplace violence are implemented at all work sites. This includes the availability of effective Employee Assistance and Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs. Using "The USDA Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response, " the Office of Personnel Management's, "Dealing with Workplace Violence, a Guide for Agency Planners, " and other resources, mission area/agency officials must develop a process to identify, report, monitor, and respond to specific areas with high potential for workplace violence. Managers, supervisors, and employees must be made aware of these policies and procedures; their shared responsibilities for preventing, reporting, and responding to threats or acts of violence in the workplace; and the need to report all threats or acts of violence to management officials. In case of emergency, report directly to local security or law enforcement officials.
Direct inquiries to the Office of Human Resources Management; Safety, Health and Employee Welfare Division; Washington, D.C. 20250; telephone number (202) 720-8248.
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