How is an injunction against workplace harassment different from other types of protective orders?
There are several ways in which an IAWH is different than other types of protective orders.
The plaintiff, or person who asks the court for an order, is the employer or an authorized agent of the employer. It is the employer who is petitioning the court for protection for the victim, fellow employees, and the employer’s property, without the victim having to take action.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence or harassment, you may also benefit from the fact that the employer is the plaintiff in an IAWH. Your abuser may be less likely to retaliate against you, since you are not involved in obtaining the injunction.
However, the fact that the victim’s cooperation is not necessary can also be harmful to you, since the employer may get an IAWH without your knowledge, and perhaps against your wishes. The law says that if the employer knows that you are the target of the harassment, the employer must make a “good faith” attempt to notify you that the employer intends to petition for an IAWH. However this does not mean that you will always be notified, or that you have to agree with the idea, before an employer may obtain an IAWH.
Unlike other orders, there can be fees to file and serve an IAWH. The filing fee is approximately $230 but it can be waived if you are low-income.1 The service fee could depend on who serves the order and how far s/he has to travel to serve it.