Worker proves supervisor caused compensable mental disability
Williams v. City of Detroit, 25 MIWCLR 19 (Mich. W.C.A.C. 2011).
Ruling: The Michigan Workers' Compensation Appellate Commission affirmed the magistrate's decision awarding benefits for a mental disability due to supervisory harassment.
What it means: In Michigan, the commission cannot overturn a magistrate's determination because the employer presented a set of facts different from those the magistrate found persuasive.
Summary: The commission affirmed the magistrate's decision awarding benefits for a mental disability due to supervisory harassment. In so holding, the commission rejected the employer's argument that the worker's unfounded perceptions of work events caused her disability.
The worker's supervisor held stacks of work before giving her the work. The magistrate noted that the supervisor made a gesture toward her and told her she would get a spanking. The worker reasonably perceived that her supervisors were out to get her. The commission also rejected the employer's argument that the work contributors were insignificant when compared to nonwork-related stressors. The employer described a traumatic event 30 years in the worker's past but offered no proof of a long-term problem. The employer failed to include any legal analysis of the magistrate's determination. The commission could not overturn the magistrate's determination because the employer presented a set of facts different from those the magistrate found persuasive.
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May 2, 2011
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