Any form of bullying is never acceptable in the California workplace. Whether it's psychological or physical, workplace bullying and harassment has the potential to create long-term health problems, from mental illness such as depression and anxiety, to physical problems if you have been assaulted or attacked.
If you are a victim of workplace bullying or harrassment in the state of California, it is important to know that the state is on your side, even if your employer is not. Workers' compensation, which is typically claimed for accidents and work-related injuries, can also be claimed for any injuries or illnesses that occurred as a result of bullying, harrassment and mistreatment in the workplace.
How can I go about claiming workers' compensation after an incident of bullying?
Essentially, you should treat your injury, whether mental or physical, just like any other injury that occurred at work. You should make a report of the injury to your employer as soon as possible after the injury took place. You have a maximum of 30 days to make this report of injury in the state of California. If you wait longer, your workers' compensation claim will likely not be successful.
When you tell your employer that your injury was due to an incident at work, and you suffered financial damages through lost wages and medical bills as a result, they should give you a workers' compensation form to fill in. Your employer has the legal obligation to provide you with one of these forms within one day of your reporting the injury to him or her. In addition, they have the obligation to authorize your medical treatment up to the value of $10,000 within one day of giving notice of your injury.
What should I do if my employer is not cooperating with me?
Many employers in California may be misinformed as to your rights to workers' compensation as a victim of bullying. You should equip yourself with knowledge of your rights so that you can take swift action in the event they do not fufill their legal obligations.