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How Do Restraining Orders Affect Employment?

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Restraining orders are protective court orders meant to prevent abuse. The person to whom these orders have been issued must refrain from certain kinds of behavior such as domestic violence, bullying, stalking or physical and sexual abuse. If not followed, the person could face penalties, damages and arrest.


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There are different types of protective orders such as the "eEmergency protective order" or the "civil harassment restraining order." They can be temporary or permanent, extending from five days to five years. If not defended properly, a temporary order can get extended into a multi-year order. Impact on employment, existing and prospective, depends on a couple of factors. Many jobs do not require an exhaustive background check, others do.


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A restraining order could get published and become a public document without your getting to know about it. The chances of a temporary order, valid for a short duration of time, has lesser chances of showing up during a background check. A restraining order registered with law enforcement can have serious implications on employment. In the United States all agencies have access to electronic databases via the the National Crime Information Center registry. Information about a restraining order can also come up during a Department of Justice background check. So the impact will likely be more when applying for jobs requiring exhaustive checks like that of a coach or a youth mentor or even a government job.


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Restraining Orders may come with some stringent requirements such as not being able to carry firearms If you are in a job that requires you to deal with firearms, you may be suspended or lose your job. An exemption can be granted if it's concluded you do not pose a threat of harm to others. There are times when employees with restricting orders are reassigned work and a change in their job specifications is deemed necessary. The implications on employment vary and depend on each individual case.


Sunita Kaul Zutshi started writing in 1988, covering business and political issues. She reported for CNBC, BBC, Dubai Television, the "Financial Express," "Times Of India," "Khaleej Times" and "The Daily Star." She has been a reporter, producer and anchor and has reported live from various countries across the globe. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from Delhi University.

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