Ways a Restraining Order can Impact Your Job in NJ
If you get a restraining order against you, there can be consequences that you may not immediately think of. For example, restraining orders can affect your ability to earn a living. Not having an experienced restraining order attorney can mean the difference between being able to work and earn an income, or not being able to step foot in your place of employment and therefore, losing your job altogether.
How do Restraining Orders Happen at Work in New Jersey?
Under the relevant laws of New Jersey, restraining orders are typically granted to those plaintiffs that have been negatively affected by a person they have dated or currently dating, a person over the age of majority (usually 18) who has lived with you in the past or currently lives with you, a spouse (former or current), as well as a person that you may share a child with. Restraining orders are used to protect people from harassment (including sexual violence or abuse), domestic violence, and/or preventing communication or contact between two or more people.
Workplace Dynamics Regarding Restraining Orders
Workplace restraining orders can be extremely complicated, and the dynamics that are created by the filing of a restraining order can be determined by the employer. There are many predicate acts that give rise to a restraining order being granted. Any of these acts may be committed in the workplace, and a restraining order can be filed against you by a coworker. Workplace restraining orders occur all the time, and depending on the allegations, and/or facts, your employment can be immediately affected.
How can a Restraining Order Affect my Employment in NJ?
As previously mentioned, the specific set of allegations surrounding the restraining order will determine many aspects of your immediate future. For example, a restraining order has the potential of affecting your employment. Final restraining order hearings are generally open to the public and capable of being searched online. A standard background check will not yield results including any restraining orders, however, if the employer decides to do a more stringent search, a restraining order may be seen. Experienced attorneys, however, may be able to discuss with you the dismissal of final restraining orders.
Depending on the allegations providing the basis for the restraining order, and what exactly is required of you at your place of employment, a restraining order can greatly affect your ability to work. If the restraining order is granted on the basis of a domestic violence situation, the defendant can be registered with the statewide Domestic Violence Central Registry, which is a public database.
Restraining orders can restrict you in the sense of carrying a weapon (if your job requires it) and it can actually prevent you from attending your place of employment if the plaintiff is also an employee of the same place. Restraining orders typically require you to surrender all firearms. Employers may decide to place you on a temporary leave of absence during the temporary restraining order proceedings, or they may decide to terminate your employment altogether. If you are an “at-will” employee, your employer does not need a reason to terminate you. Only by having an experienced attorney can you fight to ensure that minimal damage is done to your career by any restraining orders that may be filed against you.
Job-Related Sexual Conduct Restraining Orders
The Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act expanded the protection of restraining orders to those victims surviving sexual abuse. Behavior such as exposing oneself to an unwilling observer (known as lewdness), criminal sexual contact, and sexual assault. These kinds of restraining orders are also called sex crime protective orders and they can impede your ability to earn an income if there was an incident at work giving rise to a protective order being filed against you. Typically, if this is the case, you will be investigated by your human resources department, as well as have a civil restraining order filed against you.
Do I Have to Disclose a Restraining Order to my Employer or State Licensing Board?
Restraining orders, depending on the specifics, may have to be reported to your employer or anyone that is in charge of your professional license if you rely on it to work. Whether or not you have to report a restraining order to your boss or the licensing board for your professional license depends on the type of license you hold, as well as the rules of that licensing board, and the circumstances of your case.
Professional Licensing after a Restraining Order in New Jersey
Restraining orders fall under the civil branch of the judiciary and do not carry criminal implications, in and of themselves. However, violating a restraining order is a serious criminal offense and has another set of consequences. Licensing boards in New Jersey fall under the purview of the Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs. Some licensing boards will not open an investigation or discipline the license holder for receiving a restraining order, only if they violate the restraining order. When someone violates a restraining order, the ensuing criminal charges can prompt an investigation of the licensing board, which may then lead to separate penalties imposed by the board. However, there are some licensing boards that strictly regulate conduct and the disclosure requirements or regular checks are truly based on the person’s license and the other factors mentioned.
For example, if your restraining order is based on a criminal sexual offense, it may jeopardize your license. This is also true for other restraining orders based on criminal charges that have been filed by the alleged victim. Your license to practice law, teaching license, medical or nursing license, or status as a licensed social worker or professional clinician, may or may not be impacted based on the specifics of your situation. The best way to avoid this, however, is to get the restraining order and any accompanying criminal charges dismissed. It is absolutely essential to retain an experienced attorney with restraining orders to represent you throughout a restraining order, criminal matter, or related issue involving domestic violence or sexual conduct, which may prompt an investigation by law enforcement and a state board, because the licensing board is held to a different standard than typical law enforcement.
Protect Your Job by Defending Your Restraining Order in NJ
Regardless of the type of restraining order you are facing, the ramifications for your current job and long-term career prospects can be catastrophic. Speaking with a knowledgeable restraining order lawyer who handles domestic violence protection orders and sex crime restraining orders is fundamentally critical to protect your rights and your future. At The Tormey Law Firm, we have handled thousands of restraining order cases, many of which have the potential to affect our clients’ careers in Bergen County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Union County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey. To talk to a lawyer about the details of your case, your current work situation, and what to do to prevent this from impacting the rest of your professional and personal life, call us at (908)-336-5008 today. We provide consultations at no cost and an attorney who can provide you with solid legal representation is available day and night to assist you.