When people think of workers' compensation claims, construction accidents and injuries due to heavy machinery often come to mind. However, there is an increased trend in employees making successful workers' compensation claims as a result of their experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Mental stress can affect your ability to carry out meaningful work. It also has the potential to lead to other health problems, from anxiety and depression to a compromised immune system. If this mental stress was directly caused by an instance of sexual harassment in the workplace, you will likely have grounds to claim workers' compensation benefits.
What will my workers' compensation provide, and how will I prove eligibility?
In the state of California, you're eligible for workers' compensation if your employer is non-exempt from workers' compensation laws. You must also have suffered an "injury," be it mental or physical, that was directly caused by the working environment. The injury must also have required you to take unpaid leave or seek medical treatment.
Workers' compensation is in place to support injured workers with the financial burdens that injuries carry. This means that you will likely have all of your medical costs covered, including any counseling and therapy that could help you to recover from the stress caused by sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have needed to take time off of work due to the mental stress that the working situation caused, California workers' compensation insurance will likely reimburse you for a portion of your lost wages.
How do I know if my sexual harassment case can include workers' compensation benefits?
All incidents of sexual harassment on the job should be reported, and as a victim, you may find it appropriate to take legal action against the harasser or against your employer. Worker's compensation will come into play when you have suffered financial damages as a result of the harassment in your workplace.
If you believe that you have been sexually harassed in the workplace in California, it is important to know that you could be owed financial compensation. Make sure to be proactive in learning more.