Senate Passes Legislation Establishing Workplace Violence Protective Orders

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Alaska Senate passed Senate Bill 28 by a vote of 18-1, which seeks to support workplace safety by providing employers with a streamlined process for addressing credible threats of workplace violence.

Sponsored by Senator Matt Claman, SB 28 utilizes the framework of Alaska’s domestic violence protective order system to facilitate the issuance of protective orders in cases of workplace violence.

Senate Bill 28 empowers employers by granting them the authority to file petitions for protective orders against individuals who have engaged in acts of violence or made credible threats against the employer or their employees at the workplace.

This measure is a proactive step towards mitigating potential risks and safeguarding the workplace environment, giving employers a sense of security and control.

“We recognized a gap in our current legal framework and are addressing it by providing employers with an expedited process for obtaining protective orders in cases of workplace violence,” said Sen. Claman. “By leveraging the structure of Alaska’s domestic violence protective order system, we aim to equip employers with the necessary tools to respond effectively to threats and ensure the safety of their employees.”

Senate Bill 28 will align Alaska with a growing number of states that have enacted laws specifically targeting workplace violence.

With Utah joining the ranks as the most recent addition in 2023, SB 28 reflects Alaska’s commitment to improving workplace safety.

Citing data from a 2019 report by the US Bureau of Justice, Senator Claman highlighted the prevalence of workplace violence perpetrated by individuals known to the victim: “The statistics underscore the need for measures to address workplace violence. With 13% of nonfatal workplace violence incidents involving individuals well-known to the victim, and even higher rates for incidents involving female victims, SB 28 presents a logical step towards addressing these risks.”

Senate Bill 28 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.