ILNews

COA tosses injunction issued after alleged workplace threat

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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."


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

ADVERTISEMENT