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Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
November 27, 2023

Who is protected under this law?

You may be protected under the Tennessee Workplace Violence Act if you are a victim of “unlawful violence” or a “credible threat of violence” at your workplace.1 For the purposes of this law, “unlawful violence” is defined as:

A “credible threat of violence” means words or actions that make you believe you are facing the threat of death or serious bodily injury.3 According to the law, this can happen through words or through actions like the following:

  • following you to or from your workplace;
  • entering your workplace;
  • following you during work hours; and/or
  • telephone calls, emails, or other correspondence with you.4

1 TN ST § 20-14-102
2 TN ST § 20-14-101(5)
3 TN ST § 20-14-101(2)
4 TN ST § 20-14-101(1), (2)

Who can file for an order? And against whom can a petition be filed?

You or your employer can file for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a long-term injunction against:

  1. the individual who carried out the unlawful violence or credible threat of violence against you; or
  2. the organization that this individual is a part of.1

If issued, the TRO and the injunction will prohibit any future violence or threats, both at your workplace and while you are doing your job somewhere outside of your workplace.2

1 TN ST § 20-14-102
2 TN ST § 20-14-105

Does it matter whether I work for a large or small employer?

It doesn’t matter if you work for a large or small employer – you will still be protected. The Tennessee Workplace Violence Act covers any person or entity that employs one or more employees, including the state and local governments.1

1 TN ST § 20-14-101(3)