California Job Stress - Special Defenses To Work Comp Claims


The work place is an environment where major potential exists for stress to develop. After all, there is a great deal at stake where careers and job security are involved.

An over riding consideration in presenting claims for job stress is the legislative restrictions that have been imposed to prevent the floodgates of litigation from opening too freely. This article presents the four major hurdles to a successful claim of psychiatric injury -

1. Post Termination Stress - it is very important to secure treatment and report the injury to the employer before the employer terminates the worker.

2. Good Faith Personnel Action - is the most ubiquitous of the special defenses. Almost always, what the employee experiences as intolerable (and unfair) behavior is viewed by the employer as appropriate management activity.

3. Fifty-One Percent Rule - poses the challenge of preparing the Applicant for benefits to present his claim that work factors were predominant over everything else as the cause of his psychiatric injury.

4. Six Month Rule - very straightforward. The employee must be on the job at least six months before he can file a "cumulative trauma" claim.

The information in this article is most useful for Applicants for workers' compensation benefits to use as a guide. Attorneys practicing in the field are fully conversant with the rules but may find a few helpful tips or nuances.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Michael Worthington | Attorney Advertising

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