Mental Injury at Work
Workplace injuries are not limited to just physical injuries, according to a recent report.
Researchers in Canada claim that mental injuries caused by work-related stress can be every bit as damaging as physical injuries. These mental injuries are not the psychological damage caused by discrimination and sexual harassment, but rather more routine work stress caused by a high workload and demanding expectations.
Employers may help their employees avoid these types of mental injuries, and decrease the number of sick days, by allowing employees to voice their concerns and keeping expectations reasonable in terms of workload and deadlines.
Mental work injuries in California
One of the dramatic workers’ compensation changes in 2012’s Senate Bill 863 was the relegation of mental illness to a second-class status. Some psychological injuries, such as sexual dysfunction and sleep difficulty, were entirely removed from workers’ compensation coverage. Other psychological claims might be denied if the officer determines that the employer acted in good faith. In April 2013, in an attempt to make the rules more equitable, California legislators began debating Senate Bill 626.
Corona workers’ compensation attorneys point to several important changes in Senate Bill 626 that would help end the discriminatory treatment of mental illness victims:
- Reversal. SB 626 reverses the SB 863 changes in mental illness coverage, and allows psychological injuries to be considered when determining a person’s overall disability.
- Accountability. SB 626 increases accountability and transparency by ending the requirement that Independent Medical Review doctors remain anonymous.
- Licensing. SB 626 ends dual licensing requirements for IMR doctors and the company doctor, and also calls for judicial oversight of medical-legal opinions.
For a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney that understands the changing nature of the law, and how these changes affect your family, contact our office.