Can a Restraining Order Prevent Me from Getting a Job? My Personal Experience

A restraining order, also known as a protection order or an order of protection, is a legal document that aims to protect individuals from harassment, stalking, or physical harm by another individual. While I am not a legal expert, I can provide some general information to help answer your question.

In most cases, a restraining order should not prevent you from getting a job. However, it’s important to note that employers may conduct background checks as part of their hiring process. These checks typically involve searching for any criminal records or legal issues associated with potential employees.

Understanding the Purpose and Scope of a Restraining Order

A restraining order is a legal document issued by a court that aims to protect an individual from harassment, threats, or physical harm by another person. It sets boundaries and prohibits the restrained person from contacting or approaching the protected person.

The purpose of a restraining order is to ensure the safety and well-being of the individual seeking protection. It provides legal recourse for victims of domestic violence, stalking, or any other form of harassment. By obtaining a restraining order, individuals can establish clear boundaries and seek legal enforcement if those boundaries are violated.

The scope of a restraining order can vary depending on the specific circumstances and jurisdiction. Generally, it may include provisions such as prohibiting contact in person, via phone calls or text messages, through social media platforms, or even through third parties. It may also restrict the restrained person from coming near certain locations such as the protected person’s home or workplace.

It is important to note that violating a restraining order can have serious consequences for the restrained person, including potential criminal charges and penalties. If you believe you need protection through a restraining order, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law or domestic violence cases.

Can a Restraining Order Prevent Me from Getting a Job?

In today’s blog post, I want to share my personal experience and shed some light on a topic that can cause anxiety and uncertainty for many individuals: the impact of a restraining order on one’s ability to secure employment. Throughout this post, I will discuss the potential hurdles and address common concerns surrounding restraining orders and their influence on job opportunities.

While I am not a legal expert, I hope that by sharing my own journey, you’ll gain some valuable insights and feel more informed about this often misunderstood issue. So, let’s delve into it!

Understanding Restraining Orders:

A restraining order, also known as a protective order or an order of protection, is a legal document that prohibits someone from contacting or being in close proximity to another individual. It is typically issued by a court in response to allegations of harassment, domestic violence, or threats.

The purpose of a restraining order is to ensure the safety and well-being of the person seeking protection.

The Impact on Job Applications:

When it comes to applying for jobs, it’s natural to wonder how a restraining order might affect your chances of securing employment. While there is no definitive answer as every situation is unique, it is important to be aware of potential challenges.

  1. Background Checks: Many employers conduct background checks as part of their hiring process. This may involve checking for criminal records or any legal issues involving the applicant. If you have a restraining order against you, it could potentially show up during these checks.
  2. Employer Perception: Some employers may view the existence of a restraining order as a red flag, raising concerns about your ability to maintain professional relationships or create a safe work environment. However, it’s essential to remember that every employer has their own policies and perspectives.
  3. Disclosure: Depending on your jurisdiction and the nature of the job you are applying for, you may be required to disclose any restraining orders or legal issues during the application process. Failure to disclose this information, if required, could have more serious consequences than the restraining order itself.

Navigating the Job Search Process:

While the presence of a restraining order can make the job search process more challenging, it does not necessarily mean that securing employment is impossible. Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate this situation:

  1. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law or family law to better understand your rights, obligations, and potential implications of the restraining order on your job search. They can provide guidance on how to handle the situation and ensure that you are not unfairly discriminated against.
  2. Be Transparent, but Discerning: It’s important to be honest about your situation if an employer asks about any legal issues, including a restraining order. However, you should also consider whether it is necessary to disclose this information upfront or if it would be more appropriate to discuss it later in the hiring process.
  3. Focus on Your Skills and Qualifications: Highlight your professional qualifications, skills, and experience during the job application process. Emphasize what makes you a strong candidate for the position rather than solely focusing on personal matters or legal issues.
  4. Utilize Support Networks: Reach out to local organizations or support groups that provide resources for individuals facing similar situations. They may have advice specific to your area or connections with employers who are more understanding of these circumstances.
  5. Consider Alternative Job Search Strategies: If traditional employment avenues prove challenging due to the restraining order, explore alternative options such as freelancing or remote work where potential employers may be more focused on skill sets rather than personal circumstances.

Remember that every situation is unique, and outcomes can vary depending on factors such as local laws and individual employer policies. Seeking advice from professionals well-versed in employment law will help you navigate this challenging period effectively while protecting your rights as an employee.


In my personal experience, I have encountered the question of whether a restraining order can prevent someone from getting a job. It is important to note that I am not a legal professional, but I can share my insights based on my own situation.

When applying for a job, employers often conduct background checks to assess an applicant’s suitability for the position. This may include checking criminal records or conducting reference checks. In some cases, depending on the nature of the job and industry regulations, employers may also inquire about any active restraining orders against an applicant.

Having a restraining order in place does not automatically disqualify someone from obtaining employment. However, it is crucial to be honest and transparent during the application process if asked about any legal matters or restraining orders.

Employers have different policies and considerations when evaluating candidates with restraining orders. Some employers may view it as a potential red flag regarding interpersonal conflicts or potential workplace disruptions. Others may take into account the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the restraining order and assess its relevance to the job at hand.

It is advisable to seek legal advice if you are concerned about how having a restraining order might impact your chances of securing employment in your specific situation. An attorney can provide guidance based on your local laws and regulations.

In conclusion, while having a restraining order may raise questions during job applications, it does not necessarily guarantee that you will be prevented from getting hired. Each employer has their own policies and considerations when evaluating candidates with legal matters such as restraining orders. It is essential to be honest during interviews and seek legal advice if needed to navigate this situation effectively.

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