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How can I tell if my work environment is toxic?

Not all jobs are easy. Even if you enjoy your job, some aspects of work can make it challenging and at times unpleasant. For you and other Californians, your workplace can qualify as hostile. It is important to understand the factors of a hostile work environment, because the constant stress it places on you might cause health issues that you should not ignore.

Toxic workplaces often cause emotional injuries, which may be difficult to diagnose and to get approved for workers’ compensation. However, as you should understand, work-related mental and emotional illnesses can qualify for workers’ comp benefits. Your workplace might be hostile if any of the following situations apply:

  • Your employer, co-workers or clients engage in unlawful harassment and discrimination practices that you find offensive, uncomfortable or threatening.
  • When angry or frustrated, your superiors yell, belittle or threaten to demote or fire employees, rather than use positive management strategies.
  • A co-worker harasses or stalks you off the clock and away from work premises, but management has ignored your complaints.
  • Your co-workers engage in gossiping, backbiting or ostracizing you or others you work with.

As you might imagine, the emotional stress created by behaviors such as the types explained above can cause such issues as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. As the Mayo Clinic explains, chronic emotional trauma can also manifest with physical symptoms. Your ability to work and to enjoy life can be significantly impacted by emotional injuries.

Seeking workers’ compensation due to emotional trauma can be complex; therefore, this information should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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