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.

 

California’s New Law Allows Petitions to Seize a Family Member’s Guns

California’s New Law Allows Petitions to Seize a Family Member’s GunsEffective January 1, 2016, a new law went into effect that allows family members to ask a court to seize their family member’s guns temporarily. The bill was introduced in the California Legislature in 2014 after the Isla Vista massacre near Santa Barbara. Before six people tragically lost their lives, the shooter’s mother had noticed that he was increasingly agitated, and she had heard him make threats of violence.


The law places strict limits on judges who are presented with petitions to seize guns.


Temporary Emergency Gun Violence Restraining Orders


The new law authorizes a judge to issue a temporary order to prevent the possession of guns for 21 days when a petition is presented by an immediate family member or a law enforcement officer and the judge finds the following:

  • There is reasonable cause to believe that the person presents an “immediate and present danger” of personal injury to another person or himself;
  • By having, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm; and
  • The order is needed to prevent personal injury to a specified person.

If the dangerous person can reasonably be found, a law enforcement officer must serve a copy of the order on him.


Ex Parte Gun Violence Restraining Orders


Probably the most controversial aspect of the new law is the power of a judge, in very narrow circumstances, to issue an order restraining a person from possessing a gun or ammunition without providing the person advance notice. This is known as an “ex parte” order. Before an ex parte order may be issued, the following criteria must be met:

  • There is a “substantial likelihood” that the person poses a “significant danger of harm” to another person or himself;
  • In the near future;
  • By having, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm; and
  • The order is needed to prevent personal injury to a specified person.

When these criteria are met, the judge may issue an order preventing the dangerous person from having firearms or ammunition in his custody or control. Ex parte orders have a limited shelf life: They cannot last longer than 21 days, and the judge must order a hearing within that 21-day period. At the hearing, the judge determines whether a one-year restraining order is warranted. Again, the person must be served with a copy of the order if he may reasonably be found.


One-Year Gun Violence Restraining Order


A longer term restraining order, up to one year, may be issued after the person receives notice and an opportunity to attend a hearing. Before a one-year order may be entered, the following must be shown by clear and convincing evidence:

  • The person “poses a significant danger of personal injury to himself” or another;
  • By having a firearm or ammunition;
  • A restraining order is needed to prevent personal injury to the person or another; and
  • Either less restrictive alternatives have been ineffective or they would be inappropriate.


The health and well-being of you and your children are important to the State of California. If you are concerned about your safety, do not hesitate. Call the attorneys at The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger today at (415) 293-8314. We have extensive experience in family law matters, including those involving family member violence and threats of violence.