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A supervisor from my employer yelled at me in front of my co workers.  I was so humiliated that I now have a lot of stress.  I am constantly worried and am afraid of getting yelled at again.  Do I have a work injury?  I was told that my supervisor was doing his job of counseling me and I am too sensitive. 

Employers are allowed to take disciplinary measures if the employee did not do his or her job as is required.  This includes reprimands, verbal counseling, retraining, or even termination.   These are called good faith personnel actions and would defeat a claim for a work injury.  The courts do not want to make it easy for anyone to file a claim if they are yelled at by their boss. 

However, if the manner that the supervisor conducts himself or herself is determined to be extreme, outrageous, or not a good faith ordinary personnel action, then that may be a work injury.   These are considered to be psychiatric injuries.  This term is generally the same as mental stress injuries.  The symptoms could include severe depression, constant and severe worry, or severe sleep loss.  The injured worker has to prove by a preponderance of evidence the employer’s actions were the cause of the work injury.  The employer would have to prove that the actions were lawful, non-discriminatory, and in good faith.  The causation must be more than 51%.  

Keep in mind that any job in general has stress.  Therefore mere hurt feelings are not enough to be a workers’ compensation claim.  In the example above, it will not likely be a claim if the supervisor merely raised his or her voice to make a point to the worker. This is especially if the worker made a bad mistake on the job.   On the other hand, if the mistake is very minor and the supervisor called the worker an embarrassing name in front of all of the co workers, than that may amount to a claim.  This is a very complex area of the law with many nuances, and quite a bit of case law on point.

If you have questions about your workers' compensation injury and want to talk to an attorney in Fresno, please call 559-408-7436 or fill out the form to the right.

My boss yelled at me.  Is that workers' comp?

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