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Workplace injury aggravated man’s PTSD

On behalf of of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workplace Injuries on Friday, August 1, 2014.

In 2007, an assistant manager for a grocery store made a work-related phone call to an employee’s home, and soon after things took a sour turn. However, the repetitive trauma he suffered was not from his employee or other routine job duties. Instead, it was from the employee’s spouse. Although perhaps unusual in terms of a workplace injury, those who have similarly suffered in Illinois might be unaware that they may be able to receive workers’ compensation for this type of incident.

After the call to the female employee’s home, her husband apparently suspected that she and the manager were involved in an affair. Due to this belief, that was later revealed to be untrue, the husband began harassing and threatening the employee. He even went to the employee’s supervisor about the nonexistent affair, which resulted in an investigation. The employee subsequently requested to be transferred to a different store.

The husband apparently also attempted to pull off a murder-for-hire aimed at the manager. The continued harassment aggravated the man’s post-traumatic stress disorder and ultimately left him unable to work at all. When he filed for workers’ compensation benefits, his employer believed that he was not entitled to them as his work at the store did not implicitly cause his mental injury.

A judge disagreed with this argument, ruling that since the phone call made to the employee was strictly work related, the harassment was actually related to his work after all. While mental injuries or disabilities such as PTSD or depression may not be as visible as physical injuries, they can often be just as debilitating. Illinois employees who have suffered a workplace injury that resulted in mental distress, leaving them incapable of working, are as equally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as those who have been physically injured on the job. These benefits often provide crucial financial compensation, including lost wages and recourse for any necessary medical expenses.

Source: insurancejournal.com, “Employee Wins Comp Benefits in N.Y. After Run-In With Co-Worker’s Husband“, , July 18, 2014

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