If you are experiencing harassment from a third party at your workplace, one of the first steps to take is contacting the employer or someone in a position of authority at the company.
This general advice is especially applicable in the state of Arizona.
Arizona employers are legally permitted to file for an injunction against workplace harassment designed to keep abusive or harassing individuals away from the workplace.
Defining a Workplace Injunction of Harassment
According to A.R.S. § 12-1809, harassment is defined as “a series of acts over any period of time that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed.”
Additionally, the harassing conduct must actually alarm, annoy or harass the targeted individual without serving a legitimated purpose.
This statutory definition is used to outline the purpose of Arizona’s injunction against harassment outside of the workplace.
Arizona treats workplace injunctions against harassment similarly, albeit with a slightly changed definition and purpose.
A.R.S. § 12-1810(S) defines harassment as a single threat or act of physical harm or damage or “a series of acts over any period of time that would cause a a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed.
In other words, the workplace statute adds language that clearly states a single threatening act can be enough to constitute workplace harassment.
An injunction against workplace harassment differs from a regular injunction against harassment in a couple meaningful respects.
First, an individual must petition for an ordinary harassment injunction, whereas a business or an authorized agent of the business must petition for a workplace injunction.
Second, regular harassment injunctions protect an individual wherever they go.
A workplace injunction against harassment, by contrast, protects a workplace and whomever enters into that place, whether they are an employee or a customer.
What Does an Injunction Against Workplace Harassment Do?
An injunction against workplace harassment prohibits an offender from having any form of contact with the employer or the company’s employees.
Further, an offending individual is prohibited from coming near the employer’s places of business or properties.
If you are worried about whether an offender can contact you away from the employer’s office, A.R.S. § 12-1810(F) forbids an offender from contacting you or any other employee who is performing official work duties.
No matter where your job duties take you, then, an injunction against workplace harassment forbids an offender from bothering you.
How to Get an Injunction Against Workplace Harassment
An employer or authorized agent of the employer must file for the injunction against workplace harassment.
Unless you talk to your employer and they deem you to be the authorized agent yourself, then you cannot file a petition for an injunction against workplace harassment on your own.
To obtain this type of injunction, the employer must be able to show with sufficient evidence that you or any employee was the victim of harassment.
Additionally, an employer is also expected to either notify the defendant that they will seek an injunction against them or have valid reasons why the defendant should not be notified.
Once an employer or authorized agent filed a petition, there will be an ex parte hearing with an Arizona judicial officer.
At the hearing, the judicial officer will look into whether the facts indicate there is:
- Sufficient evidence of workplace harassment
- Irreparable harm that will result to the employer, employees or any other persons on business property if the petition is not granted
If a workplace injunction of harassment petition is granted, the injunction will typically last for one year from when the harasser receives a copy of the order or is served with notice of the petition.
If necessary, an employer may ask the court to extend the order, reduce it, or even dismiss it entirely, depending on the facts and circumstances involved.