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Legal Statutes: Rhode Island

UPDATED May 25, 2017

Rhode Island Statutes

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Chapter 28-52. Workplace Violence Protection

back to top28-52-2. Workplace violence protection

(a) If an employer, or an employer's employee(s) or invitee(s), have: (1) Suffered unlawful violence by an individual; or (2) Received a threat of violence by an individual that can reasonably be construed as a threat that may be carried out at the worksite; or (3) Been stalked or harassed at the worksite; the employer may (in addition to, or instead of, filing criminal charges against the individual) seek a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and an injunction pursuant to Rule 65 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure, prohibiting further unlawful acts by that individual at the worksite that shall include any place at which work is being performed on behalf of the employer.

(b) Proof (by affidavit in an ex parte hearing, or by a preponderance of the evidence in any other hearing) of any action described in subsection (a) of this section shall constitute irreparable harm or damage to the employer, or employer's employee(s) or invitee(s). Upon granting of any restraining order, preliminary injunction, or injunction, the court may, among other appropriate orders:

(1) Order the defendant not to visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the employer or the employer's operations, or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(2) Order the defendant to cease stalking the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(3) Order the defendant to cease harassment of the employer or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(4) Order the defendant not to abuse or injure the employer, including the employer's property, or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(5) Order the defendant not to telephone the employer or the employer's employee(s) or invitee(s) at the employer's worksite;

(6) Order any other necessary and appropriate relief as deemed appropriate in the discretion of the court.

(c) When necessary to protect the employer or the employer's employee(s), invitee(s), or property, and when authorized by the court, temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and injunctions granted pursuant to the provisions of this act may be served upon the defendant by a peace officer, sheriff, certified constable, or police officer, or other officer whose duty it is to preserve the peace, with appropriate orders to these officials to enforce the court's order.

(d) All orders and injunctions issued pursuant to the provisions of this act shall have statewide validity, unless specifically modified or terminated by the issuing judge, and may be enforced by the issuing court for any violation anywhere in the state, and by any court of competent jurisdiction within the state for violations which may occur within that court's jurisdiction.

(e) An employer and an employer's agents who or that act in accord with the provisions of this act shall be presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless lack of good faith is shown by clear and convincing evidence, are immune from civil liability for actions taken under this chapter.

(f) Any employer, or its employee(s) or invitee(s), who or that does not utilize the procedures authorized by this act, shall not be liable for negligence nor shall evidence of the same be admissible as evidence of negligence.

(g) In no event shall this chapter be construed to prevent lawful picketing or lawful demonstrations including, but not limited to, those related to a labor dispute.

 

P.L. 2001, ch. 43, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 284, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 260, § 30, eff. Sept. 1, 2015; P.L. 2015, ch. 275, § 30, eff. Sept. 1, 2015.