Workplace Violence Restraining Orders FAQ

 

Who is eligible to get a restraining order?

Only employers may obtain a restraining order against workplace violence.  If you are seeking a restraining order against a co-worker, use the civil harassment restraining order, click here:

 

Who is an employer?

Under California law, an employer is someone who is:

  • Engaged in any business or enterprise in this state that has one or more persons in service under any appointment, contract of hire, or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, irrespective of whether such a person is the owner of the business or is operating on a concessionaire or other basis. (Labor Code 350(a).)
  • A federal, state or local public agency; a city, county, district, or public corporation. (Code Civ. Proc 527.8(d).)

 

Whom does the restraining order protect?

This restraining order protects employees for a period of three years, and certain members of the employees families for 15 days.  Public officers, volunteers, and independent contractors all are covered as “employees.”

 

When can an employer seek a restraining order?

An employer can seek protection under this law if:

  • An employee has suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence from any individual;
  • The unlawful violence or credible threat of violence can reasonably be construed to have been carried out in the workplace;
  • The defendant’s conduct is not allowed as part of a legitimate labor dispute; and
  • The defendant is not engaged in any constitutionally protected activity.

 

Where does my employer go to get a restraining order?

Residents in the west part of Ventura County can go to the Ventura Courthouse, 804 S Victoria Ave, Room 311 to begin the restraining order process.  For residents in East County, go to the Simi Valley Courthouse, 3855 Alamo St.  However, you may go to either location regardless of where you live.

 

What if the restrained person does not obey the order?

Call the police.  Under penal code 166(a)(4), the person could be guilty of a misdemeanor crime.  If convicted, this could result in a fine and up to one year imprisonment in the county jail. 

In order for a restraining order to be valid, the restrained party must be properly served.