Recently, there was a very interesting workers’ comp stress case in the state of New York. A retail store clerk filed a stress claim alleging that he had developed panic disorder, agoraphobia, insomnia, and weight loss due to work-related stress. “At his workers’ comp hearing, the clerk testified that during a promotional event for a manufacturer of high-priced luxury goods, his supervisor told him to fabricate reserve orders by falsely indicating that individual customers intended to purchase the manufacturer’s handbags for the purpose of increasing the store inventory.” Rosalie L. Donlon, Propertycasualty360.Com
The case went back and forth in the worker’s compensation system until the appeals court ruled that individual stress can be unique to each employee. While other employees did not suffer stress that does not mean “all” employees do not suffer stress.
In some states, an injured employee must prove that the actual events of employment were the predominant cause (51%) among all of the combined causes of the stress injury.
How to Reduce Stress In the Workplace
- Communicate with employees
- Have clearly defined job descriptions
- Provide a forum for feedback and review
- Do not ask an employee to do things that are questionable