PTSD FROM WORKPLACE HARASSMENT IS REAL
The law compensates for lost wages and lost future wages. But your life is more than your paycheck. It’s your life. It’s satisfaction and joy when it’s good. And it’s an embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional distress when your life on the job goes bad. Embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress are damages (for compensation) under federal and state law.
We used to say you can’t measure embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional distress. As a matter of fact, you can. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists do it all the time. They have well-recognized assessment tools to determine how bad it is. They have their expertise to opine what caused it, or what triggered it.
The “it” is trauma. You’ve heard of trauma and insult to the brain when someone gets hit in the head. That can cause brain function problems. It’s also traumatic to the brain to put a person under stress and through distress. It may be a major event, or a series of days, weeks or months or more of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. When the trauma occurs, the problem it causes is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can present in depression, panic attacks, or aberrant behavior. It deserves as much attention and respect as any trauma or insult. When it’s caused or triggered by unlawful conduct and treatment in the workplace, it deserves attention from the court.