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COA tosses injunction issued after alleged workplace threat

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An injunction against an employee who allegedly told a company therapist that he was going to blow his supervisor’s head off is void because it arose from a labor dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The ruling came in a case in which the appeals court agreed to the employee’s request to seal the filings and identify all parties, including the company, by initials. The case is A.H. v. C.E.G., on behalf of G.S., 49A05-1310-PO-525.

A.H. allegedly made the threat after suffering an unspecified workplace injury at C.E.G., and after phone calls in which the supervisor, G.S., told A.H. that he had been disrespectful. After G.S. asked A.H. to get a second opinion on his injury, A.H. called the company therapist, who alerted human resources about the alleged threat.

The employer petitioned the trial court for an injunction against A.H. under the Workforce Violence Restraining Orders Act, I.C. 34-26-6, which was granted. On appeal, A.H. argued the trial court had no jurisdiction since the petition arose from a labor dispute governed by the Anti-Injunction Act.

“We agree,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel that reversed the injunction and remanded with instructions it be dismissed.

“The AIA was intended to minimize judicial control of labor-related disputes,” Crone wrote. The statute is I.C. 22-6-1.

C.E.G. argued that the statute didn’t apply to A.H. because he wasn’t a union member and his actions weren’t related to organized labor, but the court sided with A.H.’s argument that such a position conflicted with the plain language of the Anti-Injunction Act. The court also discounted C.E.G.’s contention that the dispute between A.H. and G.S. was personal rather than an employment dispute.

“To the contrary, the evidence shows that A.H.’s alleged threat was made within a few days after A.H. suffered an injury at work, told G.S. that he disagreed with his work assignment and hours, and complained about preferential treatment for one employee.  ... A.H. knew that G.S. disapproved of the way he had expressed his dissatisfaction and that G.S. was going to document his behavior," the panel found.

“Accordingly, we conclude that this case concerned a controversy over the terms and conditions of employment. In sum, we conclude that this case involves or grows out of a labor dispute and is governed by the AIA."


 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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