Psychological stress is a growing condition in the United States and throughout the State of California, so some states have begun taking steps to combat it. One such measure is allowing workers to receive workers’ compensation benefits for stress and other psychological injuries.
According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation, the law allows you compensation for a wide variety of disabilities and conditions that are a direct result of work-related stress. Particularly for victims of traumatic, violent or frightening events. It is not uncommon for stress to lead to more serious mental conditions, physical disorders, injuries, or all three. Although California State law allows employees to collect benefits for psychological stress-related injuries, eligibility requirements have been tightened and has created a higher threshold of evidence.
The State did this to prevent workers from taking advantage of the rights State Law grants them. Now, if you want to qualify for Worker’s Compensation for a stress-related injury, you must show that your psychological stress injury is not the result of normal staff actions. In addition, you must show that you worked for your employer for at least six months to claim cumulative stress injuries. Stress-related injuries are costly for both the employee and the employer. For this reason, the state provides recommendations for actions employers should take after receiving stress-related claims.
When workplace changes are on the horizon, employers can reduce the stress they cause by ensuring effective communication throughout the organization. Employers should implement confidential employee assistance programs that encourage workers to seek help when their work and home lives become overwhelming. The State of California also suggests that companies implement effective methods to deal with workers who have pre-existing mental or stress-related problems.
Finally, employers must learn how to better handle work-related injury cases to prevent physical injuries from becoming psychological. This may involve adjusting an employee’s workload and providing rehabilitation assistance. If you were injured on the job and are in any of these situations, it is very likely that you will need legal advice or representation to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled. Therefore, it is advisable to contact a lawyer dedicated to workers’ compensation cases (Workers’ Comp). This article is not intended to serve as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only.