This is a question we received from a Kaiser healthcare worker who recently contacted us regarding stress and anxiety she is experiencing at work since the COVID-19 crisis. I am sure many essential workers including grocery workers, truckers, delivery drivers, shipbuilders, firefighters, highway patrol offices, police and construction workers may be experiencing these symptoms and as businesses reopen with social distancing rules I anticipated more employees to suffer from these psychological symptoms. Many are not worried for themselves, but are worried about unknowingly contracting COVID-19 and passing it on to high risk family members or others who live in their household.
California law on psychological workers' compensation injuries
There is a misconception that California law does not allow psychological workers' compensation injuries. This is not true. California law allows for psychological treatment on all work injuries so long as the employee has met some minimum length of employment and causation thresholds plus the psychological injury is not due to a 'good faith' personnel action. In addition, California law also allows for impairment for psychological injuries directly caused by the employment as opposed to being a compensable consequence of a physical work injury. Impairment is the basis for permanent disability which results in monetary payments to the injured worker.
Therefore the short answer is, Yes. PTSD and other psychological diagnosis caused directly by the workers employment are potential workers' compensation claims.
If you believe you have recently suffered a psychological injury form work you may have a workers compensation claim and should speak with a workers' compensation attorney to protect your rights.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert A. McLaughlin are experienced practitioners and have handled numerous psychological claims for their clients. Robert McLaughlin is the only practicing attorney in San Diego to have won the prestigious Applicants Attorney of the Year award (2017) from the California State Bar Workers Compensation Section.
The Law Office of Robert A. McLaughlin has provided more than 30 years of legal help for clients in the greater San Diego and Imperial County. We handle workers' compensation, personal injury, and employment law cases. Our legal team works tirelessly to meet our clients' needs. Contact us online or call 619-354-4854 if you're in need of legal help.