Archive for April, 2019

The Challenges of Collecting Workers’ Compensation in Mass.

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyWe think of workplace injuries as exclusively physical – slips, falls, and slipped discs — but at any given time, an employee could be experiencing mental health issues that could compromise his or her ability to work.

Some workers may wonder what their options are when it comes to the impact their jobs have on their mental health. It’s critical to understand the implications and challenges surrounding work-related mental health conditions, as well as the importance of addressing them.

Why workers are less likely to take time off due to mental health

In a recent Harris Poll survey, over 2,000 adults across the United States shared their perspectives on work-related burnout and mental health. Roughly 55 percent of respondents reported experiencing burnout on the job, but only 34 percent took time off because of it.

The survey identified the primary reasons why workers were less likely to take time off due to mental health:

  • 46 percent of respondents said that employers wouldn’t consider mental health an acceptable reason to take time off from work.
  • 39 percent reported being too busy to take time off from work to address mental health.
  • 36 percent didn’t want to deal with the shame or judgment by co-workers.
  • 35 percent feared that someone else would take over their responsibilities.
  • 33 percent feared the social stigma surrounding mental health.

Work-related burnout can manifest in many ways and can often lead to some of the most devastating injuries to workers. Among survey respondents who experienced burnout on the job:

  • 68 percent reported feeling fatigued
  • 65 percent reported having anxiety
  • 53 percent reported symptoms of anger
  • 48 reported depression

Why mental health matters

Collecting workers’ compensation due to mental health issues can be challenging. Most importantly, any injury (whether physical or mental) must have occurred within the scope of your employment. Otherwise, your claim will likely be denied. If you slipped and fell at work, there is hard evidence that you were injured on the job but proving that the conditions of your job caused burnout can be difficult.

In some cases, enough evidence can exist to prove that a work-related incident caused a mental injury. For example, a worker could suffer anxiety or PTSD after experiencing bullying or violence on the job.

Nonetheless, mental health in the workplace should be addressed by employers. In many cases, symptoms of burnout play a factor in physical injuries that occur on the job. For example, an anxious worker may be more likely to take unnecessary risks that could result in an injury. In addition, burnout and worker fatigue is a common factor in serious workplace injuries.

If an incident at work, or the conditions of your job, caused any type of injury, it should be reported to your employer immediately. An experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney can review the details surrounding your accident and help you explore your legal options. If you’ve been hurt on the job, contact Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl.