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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38877
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a co-worker that is verbally harassing me at work and

Customer Question

I have a co-worker that is verbally harassing me at work and making false accusations that I threatened to kill him and spreading them around the workplace. My employer refuses to do anything about it they told me to file a civil suit if I had a problem it is not their problem. I thought about filing a restraining order but I am not sure how that would affect me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I need to do a little research on your question. Please give me a few minutes. Thanks in advance for your patience.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Okay, I'm back. Thanks for your patience. Ind. Code 34-26-6-6 permits an "employer" to seek a protective order for an employee who is subject to a credible threat of violence from another person. The law does not permit an employee to seek this relief on his or her own responsibility. Frankly, I was unaware of this limitation, and it is really an abominable law, because it puts the employee at the employer's mercy, which is absurd and abusive. Nonetheless, it's the law, so unless and until the Indiana legislature amends the law to resemble a rational legislative enactment, you cannot seek the protective order without your employer's assistance. Your recourse is to quit and get unemployment insurance, while you try to find new employment. Ordinarily, quitting disqualifies a claimant from receiving unemployment benefits. But, if you can show that you were threatened at work, that you asked your employer to get a protective order, and the employer refused, then you would qualify for unemployment because your employer created a work environment so hostile to you that no reasonable person would remain employed. The only other possible recourse would be to claim that the threats are somehow related to sexual harassment. If you make that claim to the employer, then the employer must take immediate action, pursuant to federal law. And, if the employer still refuses, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You could also contact the local police or sheriff -- which may be willing to investigate and arrest your coworker. But, as law enforcement has a much higher burden of proof, you would have to convince the police that there is a very serious threat of bodily injury, before law enforcement will get involved. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you, ***** ***** I was hoping for but that happens.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Please let me know if you need further assistance. Thanks again for using!