Every worker has a reasonable expectation of safety when performing their job. Harassment in the workplace is never welcome. Much has been written about dealing with abusive bosses, but what if the problems come from a co-worker?
Is a Restraining Order Against a Co-Worker Possible?
The answer is yes, with a caveat: they can be difficult for companies to help enforce. The key reason to have a restraining order is to create distance between a person and their alleged harasser. However, most businesses are limited in the amount of space a workplace can provide. If the company operates out of a 50-foot room, how can an employee be kept 100 feet away from another? It may be possible that a court approves a restraining order only for there to be logistical complications.
How to Proceed
First and foremost, contact an experienced lawyer to help you assess your options. Restraining orders are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the specifics of your case are critical to choosing the right path forward. A consultation with a legal professional like Razumich & Associates will ensure you take the correct steps to protect yourself.
If you haven’t already, start documenting any interactions that may prove relevant to your case. This can be crucial evidence, so it’s best to be as thorough as possible. Save and record any emails, pictures, or notes that show improper behavior. If the behavior occurs in person, take note of any witnesses and document the time, date, and place of the conversation.
In many situations, it can be preferable to avoid legal action until after you have spoken to your company’s Human Resources representative. Not only does this further document your efforts to resolve the situation, but HR may even be able to find a solution that alleviates the issue (including the offending employee’s termination).
If the company is unable or unwilling to provide a suitable resolution, a restraining order may be the best path to a safe and hospitable workplace.