Can a Restraining Order in California Prevent Me From Getting a Job?

Can a Restraining Order in California Prevent Me From Getting a Job?

A restraining order is a legal order that prohibits a person from contacting or coming close to another person. In California, restraining orders can be obtained by individuals who have experienced domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or other forms of abuse. While a restraining order can provide much-needed protection, it can also have significant consequences.

Can a restraining order in California prevent me from getting a job? Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger addresses this important question.

Restraining Orders and Employment Background Checks

Under the California Fair Chance Act of 2018 (recently modified), employers are prohibited from inquiring about criminal history information or disseminating it in any form or manner before making a conditional job offer, including through background checks, internet searches, or other means.

However, the California Fair Chance Act Overview FAQ states:

“After offering you a job, employers are allowed to conduct a criminal history check, but the law requires an individualized assessment about your conviction history. That means that an employer can’t take back the job offer without considering the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job you are seeking. If the employer decides to take back the job offer based on your criminal history, they must tell you so in writing, provide a copy of any conviction history report they relied on, and give you at least five business days to respond.”

When an employer conducts a background check and discovers that you have a restraining order against you, it can impact your ability to get a job. Potential employers may view these orders as a red flag, indicating that you may have a history of violence or harassment. As a result, the employer may choose not to hire you, even if you are otherwise qualified for the job.

It is worth noting that under California law, employers cannot discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their status as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This means that an employer cannot refuse to hire you simply because you have an order of protection against someone else.

Types of Restraining Orders

In California, there are four types of restraining orders that a person can obtain:

  1. Domestic Violence 
  2. Civil Harassment 
  3. Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse 
  4. Workplace Violence 

Of these types of restraining orders, only a workplace violence restraining order is specifically related to employment. An employer obtains a workplace violence restraining order against an employee or former employee who has threatened violence or caused harm in the workplace. If an employer obtains a workplace violence restraining order against an employee, it can seriously impact the employee’s ability to find employment in the future.

What to Do If You Have a Restraining Order

If you have a restraining order against you in California, it is important to understand how it can impact your ability to get a job. While a restraining order may not prevent you from being hired in all cases, it can be a factor employers consider when hiring.

If you have a restraining order against you, it is important to be sure that a potential employer is following the law when considering you for employment. Be upfront with potential employers about your situation and seek legal advice if you believe you are unfairly discriminated against during the application or hiring process.

CA Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger can explain more about restraining orders, how they work, what to do if you need one or have one, how to have one modified or removed, and more in a confidential consultation. Contact our office at one of the eight locations nearest you.


Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in a California Divorce

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in a California Divorce

It takes at least six months from the date the divorce petition is filed on your spouse to finalize a California divorce. Sometimes people need help immediately. For instance, a husband or wife suffering at the hands of their spouse may ask the police and the courts for protection. It may help to know more about domestic violence restraining orders and the California divorce.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

The actual definition of domestic violence might surprise you. It’s not just about physical violence. In fact, domestic violence includes:

  • Any kind of physical attack, including pulling hair, kicking, hitting, shoving, or throwing objects at another person;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Comments or behavior that cause someone to be reasonably afraid someone may be seriously hurt; and
  • Harassment, stalking, threats, disturbing the peace, or destruction of someone else’s personal property.

If you fear another person, you may need protection sooner rather than later.

How Does a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Work?

If someone you have a close relationship with has abused or threatened to abuse you, a domestic violence restraining order may help. This document is a court order that helps protect people in abusive situations.

You have to meet the following two criteria to ask for a domestic violence restraining order:

Another person has abused you or threatened to abuse you;


You have a close relationship with the alleged abuser.

In addition to your current spouse, the following relationships might be considered close. Someone who you:

  • date or used to date,
  • have divorced or separated from,
  • has lived with you or used to live with you,
  • parents a child with you, or
  • is a close relative, even grandparents or in-laws.

You may also request a domestic violence restraining order if another person is abusing your child.

But what can a domestic violence restraining order do?

The order may tell the abuse to avoid certain behaviors, like:

  • Contacting you and your children,
  • Going to your home, work, and schools,
  • Owning a gun,
  • Approaching your pets.

What may be surprising is that a restraining order can order the abuser to move out of the home, pay child and spousal support, and pay some other bills. The subject of the restraining order may also be told not to change insurance policies, phone plans, or do anything to affect your property. Finally, the restrained person is often told to complete a 52-week batterer intervention program.

Learn More About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

If you or someone you love are in immediate danger, call 911, a local domestic violence shelter, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys. Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.