Can I Get Workers Compensation If I Am Bullied at Work?

A recent survey found that nearly 94% of employees have experienced bullying in the workplace, and 51.1% claimed they’ve been bullied by their manager or boss.

Bullying doesn’t always stop when you graduate high school. In some cases, you may experience it even in your workplace. A survey from 2019 found that nearly 94% of employees have experienced bullying in the workplace, and 51.1% claimed they’ve been bullied by their manager or boss.

This is a rather complex subject, which can affect people differently. However, if you’ve been bullied so much so that you’re now experiencing some emotional distress, can you get compensated?

What Does the Law Say?

Even though there are many studies that show bullying can have lasting negative effects on a person’s mental health, bullying in the context of a worker’s compensation claim is a difficult matter.

For one thing, “bullying” is not a legal term, so first, you need to look at what type of actions you are faced with at work in order to determine if you may get compensated. Usually, you need to look for elements of a hostile work environment, such as:

  • Discrimination, based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, etc.
  • Harassment 
  • Threats, violent language
  • Acts of deliberate humiliation 
  • Criticism or demotions, not based on work performance

A boss that yells at employees from time to time can create some pretty uncomfortable situations, but it may not be enough to argue that you are working in a hostile environment. 

Can You Get Compensated?

In some cases, you can. For instance, if the bullying results in you getting physically injured and in need of medical attention, one option you have is to file a workers’ comp claim. Depending on the circumstances it may be possible to file a civil suit against the person that has caused you harm. It can create some tensions in the workplace, yes, but you should not stand for these kinds of actions either, especially when they cause you harm.

For emotional distress, such as anxiety or even depression, things get more tricky. While Missouri doesn’t require a physical injury to compensate for mental health treatment, proving your distress is connected to your job won’t be easy. Even if you have a lot of evidence to show you were harassed or bullied.

It has to do with the complexity of mental health. More often than not, a mental condition doesn’t have a singular cause. There could always be something in the employee’s past (family mental health history, for instance), that may also explain them. This fuels insurance companies to fight back and argue your condition may not be entirely work-related, which could potentially allow them to deny your claim.

Ensure Your Legal Rights Are Protected!

Bullying and harassment have no place at your job, but that’s not the reality many people in Missouri face. To learn about what you can do to protect yourself and get compensated, speak with a St. Louis worker’s compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

Call (314) 361-4300
Updated: June 17, 2020