How do I get an injunction against workplace harassment?
Your employer, or someone authorized by your employer, has to file for an IAWH. Unless you are your employer’s authorized agent, you cannot petition for an IAWH on your own behalf.1 To get an IAWH, your employer must show that you have been the victim of harassment and must make a “good faith” effort to tell you that s/he is seeking an IAWH.2 However, even if you know your employer’s intentions, you may not have any say in whether or not your employer files for an injunction.
For the purposes of an IAWH, harassment is defined as either a single threat/act of physical harm/damage or a series of acts over a period of time that would cause a person serious alarm or annoyance. This includes defamation against an employer, unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly, concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity, taking part in a secondary boycott.3
Your employer may file for an IAWH whether or not you have a protective order of your own, such as an order of protection or injunction against harassment.
To file for an IAWH, your employer can go to a justice court, municipal court or superior court in the area. Your employer will then have a hearing with a judicial officer, where the harasser will not be present (called an “ex parte hearing”). A judicial officer can issue an IAWH at this ex parte hearing if s/he finds:
- sufficient evidence of workplace harassment; or
- that great irreparable harm will result to the employer, employees or any person entering the employer’s property; or
- that the employer attempted to notify the defendant that s/he was seeking an injunction against him/her or that the employer presented reasons why the defendant should not be notified before issuing the injunction against him/her.
If the judge does not grant the injunction immediately, another hearing may be set and the defendant will have a chance to be heard before an injunction against workplace harassment may be issued.4
1 A.R.S. § 12-1810(A)
2 A.R.S. § 12-1810(M)
3 A.R.S. § 12-1810(S)(2)
4 A.R.S. § 12-1810(E)