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Weapons thru Workplace Violence
Broward County > Benefits > ABCs > Weapons thru Workplace Violence

Weapons
Use or threat to use a deadly weapon by employees in contravention of state law is forbidden at all County job sites, County owned, leased or rented property and in County vehicles.

For the purposes of this policy, a “deadly weapon” is defined to include all firearms, such as handguns, rifles and shotguns. The term also includes any explosive devices. Other objects or tools such as knives or other cutting utensils, bows and arrows, bats, brass knuckles, mace, pepper spray, tear gas, or tools such as axes, screwdrivers, hammers, etc. may be considered deadly weapons when, in the County’s judgment, these objects are brandished or used in a violent, threatening, aggressive or offensive manner in relation to the facts of a given situation.

In an effort to enforce state laws regarding firearms and ammunition and County ordinances and policies related to other deadly weapons, the County may request the cooperation of an employee in agreeing to the conduct of a search of personal property such as packages, briefcases, purses and similar containers on County property if the County has reasonable grounds, such as credible reports of witnesses, to believe that an employee may be in violation of this policy. Searches of private vehicles parked on County property may only be conducted by on duty law enforcement and must comport with state law and constitutional protections.  Unattended packages and containers such as those described above are subject to removal by law enforcement personnel when they are felt to be suspicious in nature and possibly dangerous.  To the extent permissible by state law, employees may be asked or directed to remove personal property from County property should the employee be unwilling to agree to a search. Refusal to comply with such an order to remove the personal property from County property may result in disciplinary action.

It is the County’s policy to strongly enforce this ban on deadly weapons at work. Possession of a deadly weapon in contravention of state law and enabling County ordinances and policies, even without its actual use, is a violation of County policy. Severe disciplinary action, including termination, is a possible consequence of violating this policy, even following a first offense.

Wellness Program
The Wellness Program is designed to enhance the physical, financial and emotional well-being of Broward County employees by providing services that motivate employees and help them reach their wellness goal. Wellness services are designed to empower employees with the information, tools and support they need to take charge and move toward overall optimal health. Wellness programs, events and health fairs are scheduled around the County and all employees are encouraged to participate. Wellness resources can be found on the Wellness website at broward.org/MyWellness and broward.org/HealthyCounty website.

Wellness Resource Centers
The Wellness Resource Centers are designed to provide central, dedicated locations where employees can attend wellness events and classes, pickup educational information on wellness, fitness, financial, emotional and disease management, participate in screenings and watch wellness-themed videos. Centers are currently located at the Governmental Center, Government Center West, Aviation, Water and Waste Water Services, Transportation Services Copans Facility and Port Everglades.

Whistleblower Protection
Employees are encouraged to bring allegations of wrongdoing or malfeasance on the part of Broward County, its officers, employees and independent contractors, to the attention of County government. Employees will be free from retaliation as a result of bringing forward such allegations or participating in investigations of such allegations. No employee will be discharged, suspended, demoted or subjected to other adverse personnel action because they acted in good faith to bring allegations of wrongdoing to the attention of the County pursuant to this policy. Retaliation based on opposition to unlawful discrimination in employment or promotion, or based upon participation in any proceeding of inquiry into allegations of such discrimination, is expressly prohibited and should be reported in writing to the County Administrator or the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Professional Standards (OIAPS) – the office designated by the County Administrator to investigate whistleblower complaints.

Work Schedule
The work schedule of most County agencies is either:

  • Five days a week, eight hours per day, with an unpaid meal break daily.
  • Four days a week, 10 hours a day, with an unpaid meal break daily.

Some agencies have a different length workday and workweek. Meal periods are not considered time worked. Schedules for operations staffed around the clock vary according to the services provided by the unit. Questions about work schedules should be directed to the appropriate supervisor.

Worker’s Compensation
If an injury requires medical attention, emergency assistance should be called, if necessary. Less urgent care and care after the emergency will be coordinated through the Medical Care Management Provider as outlined by the Worker’s Compensation Section of Risk Management.

Employees are required to report all work-related injuries to their supervisor as soon as possible no matter how minor the injury. The Division should report the injury to Risk Management within 24 hours after the employee notifies them of their injury.

Benefit-eligible employees on extended worker’s compensation leave should contact the Human Resources Division-Employee Benefit Services Section at 954-357-6700 or benefits@broward.org for information on continuation of benefits.

Workplace Violence
It is the County’s policy to maintain a workplace free from violence or the threat of violence by any employee, customer, vendor or members of the general public. It is the goal of the County to provide a workplace which is safe and free from attacks, harassment, property crimes, threats or acts of violence. Nothing is more important to Broward County than the safety and security of its employees and residents. Opposing workplace incidents involving violence or the threat of violence is a top organizational priority for Broward County.

The County is committed to taking reasonable steps to reduce the risks of workplace violence and to provide a coordinated, prompt and effective response to such incidents. These incidents are among the most serious faced by managers. Reported threats, threatening behavior, or acts of violence against employees, residents, or other individuals by anyone on County property or work sites is not tolerated or ignored. All employees, and especially managers, law enforcement personnel and employee organization representatives are obligated to act individually and collectively to prevent, defuse, or mitigate actual or threatened violent behavior at work.  Violations of this policy by County employees lead to serious disciplinary action which may include dismissal, even following a first offense. The County is also committed to full cooperation with law enforcement agencies to support criminal prosecution of anyone within or outside of the organization who commits violent or threatening acts against County employees.

Enforcing and supporting this policy is a shared responsibility between the County and every County employee. Every employee is expected to understand this policy and cooperate with County officials in policy enforcement. Every employee is also expected to report acts or threats of violence to their supervisor or to the Director of Human Resources who is the County’s designated Critical Incident Coordinator and is responsible for the coordination of the County’s response under this policy.


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