Workplace Stress and Workers’ Compensation in Philadelphia

September 28, 2015

If you are dissatisfied with your job you are in good company. A job satisfaction survey published by the Conference Board reports that 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work, according to Forbes. Millions of Americans are miserable at their jobs, and feel as if workplace stress is killing them, but how do you know if stress at work rises to the level of filing a workers’ compensation claim?

Mental conditions caused primarily by stress at work can be covered by workers’ compensation; however, it all comes down to your ability to prove that your mental condition was caused by abnormal workplace conditions. Be forewarned that claiming workplace stress can be quite a challenging and stressful undertaking. It might also be challenging to find a Philadelphia worker’s comp attorney to take your case unless you have solid evidence to back up your claims.

For example, Shirley Hilton, a Philadelphia school teacher, was approved to receive workers’ compensation for health problems she suffered while working in a stressful classroom environment. Ms. Hilton reported to her doctor that she had heart palpitations, headaches, dizziness and nausea caused by the overly stressful working environment at Frances D. Pastorius Elementary School.

If your symptoms of stress can be correlated to an incident at work such as an accident or an act of violence that you either witnessed or experienced, you might have a better chance of getting your worker’s compensation claim for work-related stress approved.

Gathering evidence

Stress-related workers’ compensation claims have a higher standard of proof than a physical injury or an occupational disease. In an article on the American Bar Association blog, there are some questions about how you might rate the level of stress at work and whether or not it rises to the level of proving a claim:

  • Has the stress in your workplace resulted in permanent impairment?
  • Can you prove (with medical evidence) that your stress was primarily work-related?
  • Was the level of stress you endured above the normal level of stress for that position?

In order to claim work-related stress for a workers’ compensation claim in Philadelphia, you must be able to provide medical evidence, prove that the environment had above normal stress levels, and be able to rule out other situations in your life that could be contributing to your stress-related illness.

Larry Pitt & Associates is one of Philadelphia’s leading workers’ compensation law firms. Please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to talk about your claim. We are proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, including in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.