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Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of May 3, 2024

What is the definition of workplace violence?

For the purpose of getting a workplace violence restraining order, “workplace violence” can be defined as either “unlawful violence” or a “credible threat of violence.”

“Unlawful violence” is assault, battery, or stalking.1 Importantly, the unlawful violence must have taken place at the workplace,2 which includes following an employee to or from work or during work hours.3

A “credible threat of violence” is a statement or repeated acts (“course of conduct”) that:

  • would reasonably cause a person to fear for his/her safety or the safety of an immediate family member; and
  • serves no legitimate purpose.4

It must be reasonably understood (construed) that the credible threat of violence could be carried out at the workplace2 whether that happens in person, over the phone, by mail, or online.3

1 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.8(a), (b)(7)
2 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.8(a)
3 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.8(b)(1); see also California Courts website
4 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.8(a), (b)(1), (b)(2)