Experience And Results In California Workers’ Comp Cases

Can a toxic work environment lead to workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

While people often equate workers’ compensation with injuries suffered on the job – falling down, struck by an object, hazardous material exposure – the truth is that these benefits cover a broad range of both physical and mental issues. As soon as a worker identifies a debilitating condition, it is crucial that he or she file a claim to seek the appropriate benefits.

Workers might find it challenging to tie a mental illness to work factors. Given the proper factors, workers’ compensation claims can potentially cover many psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. If workers can prove a strong causal relationship, it is likely that the employee is struggling through a toxic work environment.

What is a toxic work environment?

It is not uncommon for workers to experience a bad day, a challenging project or a difficult personal interaction while on the job. When these negative experiences become the norm rather than the exception, however, workers can begin feeling the weight of a toxic work environment.

Unnecessary competition, low morale, constant stressors, unclear objectives, unrealistic expectations, unfair performance reviews, vindictive co-workers, harassment, bullying and overall negativity often typify these environments. Many employees quickly recognize these issues and seek employment elsewhere. This causes sudden, severe attrition which only leads to unbalanced workloads, more stress and greater morale issues for the remaining workforce. It is a never-ending cycle and employees soon find it impossible to leave the negative feelings at work.

Eventually, the toxic work environment infiltrates their homes, their families and their personal relationships. Hobbies are no longer fun. It takes longer to decompress after a long shift or a hard week. These environments quickly lead to insomnia, depression, burnout and dramatic changes to self-esteem.

Unfortunately, compensation benefits surrounding work stress is a constantly evolving legal concept. There is no simple answer and no one-size-fits-all template for resolution. If you can establish a causal link between the work environment and the psychological disorder, it is wise to explore the option of seeking workers’ compensation benefits.