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Workplace Violence Restraining Order in California

California law allows a court to issue an order to protect an employee against violence or credible threats of violence at work, such as stalking or harassing calls.

Who requests for the restraining order

Only an employer can request a workplace violence restraining order to protect an employee. Such a court order lasts up to 3 years. If you are the employer, you must prove the following to get a restraining order:

  • The employee has been subjected to violent acts or there’s a credible threat
  • The violent act or credible threat can happen at the work place or did happen at the work place
  • The conduct of the restrained person is not permitted during a legitimate labor dispute
  • The restrained person was not engaging in activity protected by the constitution

If you are an employee and your employer refuses to get a work place violence restraining order on your behalf, you can apply for other types of restraining orders such as a civil harassment restraining order. Talk to your lawyer for guidance in such situations.

Effects of the restraining order

When issued, a work place violence restraining order requires the restrained person:

  1. To stop contacting the employee, house hold members of the employee and other employees.
  2. To maintain physical distance from the employee, his or her family members, or other employees.
  3. To keep away from certain places such as the employee’s place of work, or the employee’s children’s schools.
  4. Not to own a gun or possess one.

Failure to obey these and other orders listed in the restraining order could result in fines or jail time. If the restrained person is an immigrant, he or she could be faced with deportation.

As the employer, you must file the following forms to get the restraining order:

  • CM-010-Civil Case Cover Sheet
  • WV-100-Petition for Orders to Stop Workplace Violence
  • CLETS-001-Confidential CLETS Information
  • WV-109-Notice of Court Hearing
  • WV-110-Temporary Restraining Order
  • L-0889-Declaration Re: Notice of Temporary Restraining Order

If you need to get protection for several employees, you must fill separate forms for all of them. You will be charged a filing fee if your office is not a government agency.

Temporary restraining order

If you ask for a temporary restraining order, the judge will decide on it within 24 hours or on the spot. You should notify the restrained person about your intention to file for a temporary restraining order. If you cannot do so, fill in “Declaration Re: Notice of Temporary Restraining Order (L-0889)” to explain to the judge why you failed to give notice.

Serving the papers

Get a server to serve the restrained person with copies of all the papers filed. The server should be anyone above 18. He or she should deliver the papers in person.

After serving, the server should fill the Proof of Personal Service (WV-200) and file it in court.

Restraining Order after Hearing

This is also called a permanent restraining order and is usually issued after the court hearing. The “permanent” restraining order is valid for 3 years. If the threat persists, it can be renewed at the end of the 3 years.

When the judge issues a restraining order, it goes into CLETS, and is available statewide in all California law enforcement offices.

Note the following
  1. If you are getting the restraining order based on the information of others and not on what you have personally observed, fill in “Attached Declaration (MC-031)” and file it together with the other forms.
  2. Only serve the restrained person with conformed copies, which should be issued by the civil division clerk.
  3. On the court date, you (the employer) and employee/s, should appear in court. If you don’t go, the temporary order will expire and the judge will not enforce a permanent order.
  4. If the restrained person has challenged the court order, expect that his or her side of the story will come out in court.
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