While many people often think of on-the-job injuries as physical (i.e. back injuries, repetitive stress injuries, broken bones, etc.), psychological injuries can be just as devastating. Some jobs are so stressful that they have an impact on an employee’s mental health.
When it comes to the federal sector, an employee subject to a hostile environment in the workplace can develop or aggravate the following types of mental conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
A federal employer is prohibited from terminating an employee due to a physical or mental health condition. However, there are some employers who pressure their workers and subject them to hostile treatment to force them to resign. Several examples of illegal and adverse treatment include humiliating an employee, yelling at an employee, making condescending comments in front of coworkers, increasing workload and work expectations to exhaust the employee.
If an employer or hostile work environment have caused depression and/or anxiety, or aggravated a pre-existing mental health condition, there are federal laws which protect affected individuals against harassment and discrimination due to your condition, along with privacy rights and ability to obtain reasonable accommodations to aid job performance.
If you suffered psychological injuries and mental health issues due to mistreatment by a federal employer, you may purpose claims for such harm through an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) disability retirement claim or the workers’ compensation process.
In order to be eligible for disability retirement, you must meet the following requirements:
- Employed in the federal sector for at least 18 months
- Suffered a disability which will last for at least one year
- Cannot perform important job duties
- No other work positions available which you can perform
If the OPM denies your initial claim, you can still request a reconsideration. If the OPM denies the claim after reconsideration, you can seek an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
At John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorney at Law, our Washington D.C. federal employee attorney is committed to protecting your rights, best interests, and health. We can guide you through the intricacies of the legal process and ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve.
For more information about hostile work environments in the federal sector, contact us and request a free 30-minute consultation today.