Does stress classify as a workplace injury?
Workers’ compensation is designed to pay for medical expenses, hospital bills and other healthcare treatment that you may need as a result of a workplace injury. Yet, workplace injuries may include more than a laceration, broken bone or traumatic brain injury. In some cases, psychological trauma may lead to workers’ compensation benefits, depending on the source and the degree of the problem. If you have been subjected to an overly stressful work environment for a prolonged period of time, you may develop symptoms, such as headaches, anxiety, nausea and heartburn, that are similar to a physical ailment. Over time, these symptoms can turn into long-lasting problems, including GERD, depression, sleeping problems, weight gain, migraines and heart disease.
In one instance, a Pennsylvania teacher filed for workers’ compensation benefits
because she experienced severe stress from teaching a disorderly second-grade class. The teacher claimed that the headaches, dizziness, anxiety and nausea she was feeling was a direct result of her stressful work environment. After visiting her physician, she was instructed to stay away from her workplace so that she could fully recover. After leaving her job at the school, she developed a heart murmur and suffered a voice box injury. The workers’ compensation judge granted her benefits after carefully reviewing her case.
Employers are responsible for providing a workplace that is safe from both physical and psychological dangers. When you are forced to work in a stressful environment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.