Employers May Seek Orders of Protection against Workplace Violence

Earlier this year the State of Illinois enacted the Workplace Violence Protection Act which may aid employers in protecting their workforce, guests, customers and property.  The Act allows for the filing of orders of protection against employees who participated in violence, harassment or stalking at their place of employment.   The law applies to all employers that have at least 5 employees during any work week, whether the employer is an individual, partnership, corporation, association, limited liability company, business trust, government agency, the State, or a political subdivision.

Under the act, an employer may seek an order of protection to prohibit further violence or threats of violence by a person if:

1)      An employee has suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence from the person; and

2)      The violence has been carried out or the credible threats of violence can reasonable carry out at employee’s place of work.

The House Bill 2590, which was the original bill that resulted in the Workplace Violence Protection Act, has been sponsored by State Senator Darin LaHood, who commented on the Act: “When an employee walks into work they should be afforded a certain level of protection from brutal acts of violence” stating that the Act gives an employer an opportunity to provide this protection.

An employer may also obtain an order of protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1989, but under different circumstances:

1)      If an employer files an affidavit that shows reasonable proof that an employee has suffered either unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence by the defendant; and

2)      If an employer demonstrates that great or irreparable harm has been suffered, will be suffered, or is likely to be suffered by the employee.

An employer may obtain the order of protection from the local court under the Workplace Violence Protection Act in order to protect their workplace from violence. 

For more information on orders of protection that may be filed by employers and for other employment matters you may contact Dana Perminas at (312) 334-3474 or at dperminas@messerstrickler.com