Worker's Compensation Due To Stress on The Job?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

I work as a software developer (worked for the company for 3 years). I work with 2 other more senior developers. Since they are more senior than I, they felt it is OK to be disrespectful, rude, and condescending to me (and others). The only other employee left the team because of them. I explained to my manager that this environment was causing me stress and counterproductive to my ability to do my job. He said he would take care of it, but apparently hasn't. When these developers realized I had complained about them, they began to falsely accuse me of not completing my work and provide reports to my manager that my work quality is substandard. I did see a doctor to document my stress on the job. I was fired yesterday due to their negative feedback of me. Do I have a worker's comp case?

Additional information

I just remembered that for the last 8 months, there was not a day that I didn't work at least 12 hours, plus weekends. Even though my title was software developer and I was on a salary, I don't think that I qualify for the software programmer exemption because the majority of my tasks were not design/creative in nature, and I did not have the discretion to make independent decisions without supervision. I think that I was at least entitled to overtime pay.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Irina Rubin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . I think you do have a case.

    It is very good that you saw a doctor prior to being terminated. However, you should have asked for a claim form as well. Call your former employer, report your stress, request to fill out a claim form and ask to be sent to a doctor.

    Get an attorney right away.

  2. George Ellis Corson IV

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Based on the facts in your post, I don't really think you have a strong case. You can file a cumulative stress claim after 3 years of employment, but it won't get you very far. You will see a therapist for 6 months, claim to be permanently scarred by rude comments about your work quality, and possibly receive a nuisance settlement of a few thousand dollars. Even then, you will have a permanent record of being unable to work when someone criticizes you. This sounds like Personnel Action was the cause of your termination, which is an affirmative defense. That can defeat your claim even if you ARE upset and your feelings were bruised.

    Looking for a new position is probably a better choice today, just as it would have been 6 months ago.

    We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY... more
  3. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Likely yes if the stress is causing you to be disabled from doing your job. You should locate and consult with a workers compensation attorney right away to understand your rights.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  4. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . You may have a work comp case but it will likely lead to more detriment than good. You could also consult an employment lawyer to discuss a possibly wrongful termination case - although weak.

  5. Peter Joon-Sung Hong

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You don`t get workers comp benefits for stress. Only disability. If work stress has caused physical or mental disability then you may have a case.

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