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Psychological trauma in the workplace

California workers’ compensation covers discrimination and harassment. The Labor Commissioner’s Office enforces policies that prohibit retaliation against victims of sexual assault, employees on sick leave, employees with a criminal history and several other socioeconomic situations.

Unfortunately, an employee experiencing psychological and physical trauma becomes more susceptible to further discrimination and retaliation. Employers do not always provide legally obligated accommodations, creating a cycle of trauma and abuse.

Workers’ compensation for harassment

Psychiatric injuries receive coverage under California Labor Code. You have a workers’ compensation claim if your employer harasses you over your sexual orientation, gender, immigration status, or race. To prove the case, you need to establish that the psychological trauma you experience directly results from your employment relationship.

Protection against retaliation

Harassment in the workplace is illegal, but it is also unlawful to retaliate against workers’ compensation claims. Sometimes employers try to hide their discrimination or harassment in the form of disciplinary actions. For example, you might receive written or spoken warnings for your performance, even though nothing about your work habits has changed. You might face pressure to return to work before you fully recover. Your employer might terminate you, though you have an excuse for underperforming during the injury. California and federal laws protect you from this abuse.

Workers’ compensation claims might turn a positive work environment hostile and traumatic. If your workplace treats you poorly, filing a complaint introduces further possibilities of mistreatment and discrimination. Fortunately, you have state and federal laws on your side. You do not have to put up with psychological abuse at your job.

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