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Know the Laws: Indiana

UPDATED May 24, 2016

Workplace Violence Restraining Orders

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A workplace violence restraining order (WVRO) is an order that an employer can get due to unlawful violence or credible threats of violence against his/her employee.

Basic info

back to topWhat is a workplace violence restraining order (WVRO)? How do I get one?

A workplace violence restraining order (WVRO) is an order available to an employer if his/her employee is an abuse victim -- the employer can file for it even if no violence has occurred at the workplace.  If you are an employer, there are clear, easy-to-understand instructions on how to obtain a workplace violence restraining order at the IN Courts website.

An employer may seek protection under this law if the employee has experienced unlawful violence that occurred at the workplace or a credible threat of violence that could reasonably be carried out in the workplace.* 

A “credible threat of violence” is defined as a statement or course of conduct that does not serve a legitimate purpose and that causes a reasonable person to fear for her safety or for the safety of her immediate family.**  A "course of conduct" can include any of the following behaviors (but there must be repeated incidents, not just one):

  • Following or stalking the employee to or from the employee's place of work;
  • Entering the employee's place of work;
  • Following the employee during the employee's work hours;
  • Making telephone calls to an employee during the employee's work hours; and/or
  • Sending correspondence to an employee by postal mail, interoffice mail, fax, or electronic mail.***
Note: if you are the victim, you cannot file for this yourself; your employer would file for it.  If you want to file for your own order for protection, go to our Orders for Protection page to read more info. 

* IC § 34-26-6-6
** IC § 34-26-6-2
*** IC § 34-26-6-1

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back to topWhat types of WVROs are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of WVRO's:

  • an ex parte or temporary restraining order (TRO) issued without a hearing that lasts a maximum of 15 days, and
  • an injunction (an order issued after a hearing) that lasts up to 3 years.
To get a temporary ex parte order, the employer has to allege in the petition and prove that serious harm has been suffered by the employee or will be suffered by the employee due to the abuser.* 

* IC § 34-26-6-7 (2)

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back to topHow can a WVRO protect the victim?

A WVRO can order the abuser to:

  • stay away from you and your family/ household members;
  • stay away from your home, work, school, vehicle, child’s school or daycare, or other location;*
  • not commit further unlawful violence against the victim or her family/household members;
  • not commit "credible threats of violence" against the victim or her family/household members.**  Note: Credible threats of violence” include:
    • Following or stalking the employee to or from the employee's place of work.
    • Entering the employee's place of work.
    • Following the employee during the employee's work hours.
    • Making telephone calls to an employee during the employee's work hours
    • Sending correspondence to an employee by postal mail, interoffice mail, fax, or electronic mail.***
* See "Petition of employer for injunction prohibiting violence or threats of violence against employee," available at the Indiana Courts website
** IC § 34-26-6-8
*** IC § 34-26-6-1

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back to topHow much does it cost to file for a WVRO?

There will be no cost as long as the petition alleges one of the following:

  • violence or threatened violence against the employee,
  • stalking of the employee, or
  • that the abuser of has spoken in a manner that has placed the employee in reasonable fear of violence.*
* IC § 34-26-6-14

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