Can you sue your employer for psychological injury in the workplace?
If one of more of the following statements apply to you, you may be able to make a psychological trauma claim:
- Is your employer covered by Federal anti-bullying laws?
- Is the behaviour you’re experiencing in your workplace repeated and unreasonable?
- Is the behaviour you’re experiencing creating a risk to your physical or mental health and safety?
- Unless action is taken to stop the behaviour, is it likely to continue?
Workplace bullying is completely unacceptable, whether it’s based on your age, gender, sexuality, marital status, culture, race, personality or disability. There are a number of avenues you can take within and separate to your organisation if you’re being bullied or harassed. These include talking to:
A supervisor or manager
A health and safety representative
Your human resources (HR) department
Your union (if you are a member)
The Fair Work Commission (they can help you stop the bullying by first taking their eligibility quiz)
Sexual harassment in the workplace includes any kind of lude or unwanted sexual behaviour. It has nothing to do with friendship, seniority or mutual attraction, and is a violation of your employee rights. Examples of sexual harassment can include:
Staring or leering
Unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against you or unwelcome touching
Suggestive comments or jokes
Insults or taunts of a sexual nature
Intrusive questions or statements about your private life
Displaying posters, magazines or screensavers of a sexual nature
Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
Inappropriate advances on social networking sites
Accessing sexually explicit internet sites
Requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates
Behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.
Legally, psychological injury is considered as mental harm, suffering, damage, impairment, or dysfunction caused to a person as a direct result of some action or failure to act by some individual. Common causes of psychological injury can include job insecurity, work overload, workplace bullying and harassment, dealing with difficult customers, or the stress of shift work. Psychological injuries are more likely to affect people long-term, as well as short-term.
Once you’ve gotten in contact with a legal professional, they’ll be able to give you a firmer idea of how much workplace bullying compensation you may be expecting to receive, as each circumstance is unique.
If you’re entitled to a Workers’ Compensation claim, you may receive compensation for lost earning and medical expenses. If you make a negligence claim under common law (as your employer has breached their duty of care to you), you may be entitled to damages for your loss of earnings and your pain and suffering.
Some common examples of workplace bullying can include (but are definitely not limited to):
Exclusion from workplace activities and events
Making impossible or unreasonable work demands
Teasing, and practical jokes
Spreading of rumours, gossip or innuendo
Withholding important information or tools required for work performance
Intimidating or aggressive conduct
To make a workplace bullying and harassment compensation claim for psychological injury, your first port of call should be to speak to a Workers’ Compensation solicitor at LHD Lawyers.
We’ll work with you to make sure we understand your situation fully, and can then advise you on the best course of action to take with your case. We’ll also be there to listen to and support you in your time of need, as we understand what you’re going through and are genuinely here to help.