Investigator fails to show confrontation caused compensable anxiety
Case name: New York State Department of Taxation, 111 NYWCLR 152 (N.Y.W.C.B. 2011).
The New York Workers' Compensation Board denied benefits to an investigator who alleged she had acute anxiety due to a verbal assault, bullying, harassment, and threats by a senior investigator during a training session.
What it means: In New York, a claim for work-related stress will not succeed without showing that the stress experienced by the worker was greater than that which other similarly situated workers experience in the normal work environment.
Summary: At the conclusion of a training session, a sales tax investigator initiated a contentious discussion with the senior investigator on the subject of investigator duties and training. The senior investigator felt that the investigator was not trained to perform certain investigations and emphasized that they involved a significant element of danger. A witness testified that she did not observe any threats or intimidation. The investigator and senior investigator were on opposite ends of the room. The investigator sought benefits for her acute anxiety, claiming that she was verbally assaulted, bullied, harassed, and threatened by the senior investigator. There was no evidence that the senior investigator supervised the investigator, had a history of bullying or intimation, had any contact with her before or since the incident, or knew anything at all about her. The board found that the investigator was not subjected to stress greater than that which other similarly situated workers experienced in the normal work environment. The board denied benefits.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 27, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications