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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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