What is Disruptive, Threatening, or Violent Behavior?
Disruptive behavior is inappropriate behavior that interferes with the functioning and flow of the workplace.
It hinders or prevents faculty and staff members from carrying out their professional
responsibilities. It is important that faculty, managers, and supervisors address
disruptive behavior promptly. If left unaddressed, disruptive behavior typically continues
to escalate, resulting in negative consequences for the individual as well as others.
Examples include yelling, using profanity, waving arms or fists, verbally abusing
others, and refusing reasonable requests for identification.
Threatening behavior includes physical actions short of actual contact/injury (e.g., moving closer aggressively),
general oral or written threats to people or property ("You better watch your back"
or "I'll get you") as well as implicit threats ("You'll be sorry" or "This isn't over").
Violent Behavior includes any physical assault, with or without weapons; behavior that a reasonable person
would interpret as being potentially violent (e.g., throwing things, pounding on a
desk or door, or destroying property), or specific threats to inflict physical harm
(e.g., a threat to shoot a named individual).
For further information regarding threatening or violent behavior in the workplace,
please refer to the University Policy Manual P519 Workplace Violence
After Identifying Disruptive Behavior, How Can I Prevent or Help the Employee?
Stony Brook University shall take all responsible actions to educate employees regarding
the ways to identify and address disruptive behavior. Training and University-wide
publications on disruptive behavior will reinforce the University's expectations that
disruptive, threatening, and violent behavior will not be tolerated.
What are the Warning Signs?
Below is a list of signs that may be indicators of disruptive behavior. If you observe
a pattern or change in behavior and attitude that causes you concern, please notify
- Repetitive verbal abuse, including sarcasm or poor relationship with customers, co-workers,
supervisors, or others
- Very controlling
- Blaming others for problems in life or work; being suspicious, holding grudges
- Persistent complaining
- Challenging or resisting authority
- Destruction of University property
- Becoming unusually upset over recent event(s) (work or personal crisis)
- Withdrawing from normal activities, family, friends, and co-workers
- Making a major change in lifestyle, demeanor, or appearance
Specific examples of disruptive behavior:
- Numerous conflicts, verbal abuse, or poor relationships with customers, co-workers,
supervisors, or others
- Inappropriate reaction to criticism of conduct or job performance
- Persistent complaining about being treated unfairly
- Increased, nontypical, or inappropriate tardiness and/or absenteeism
- Behavior related to obsession with another person at the University
- Inability to control feelings, outbursts of anger, swearing, slamming doors, etc.
- Interrupting meetings or trainings with inappropriate comments; hijacking the agenda
- Is isolated or a loner
- Expresses entitlement to special rights and that rules don't apply to him/her
- Says that he/she feels wronged, humiliated, degraded; wants revenge