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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Subject of Smear Campaign Recovers for Psychiatric Condition

An employee, who was the object of a smear campaign that included being the subject of  circulated pornographic cartoons, was permitted to seek benefits for psychological residuals flowing from the humiliation, shock and anger that resulted in her loss of sleep. The worker was treated for an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressive mood.

The trial court, that was affirmed, had concluded:

"...[t]he aforementioned events cannot be characterized as an honest attempt to ensure that an office is running in an efficient and effective manner. Here, [p]etitioner was subjected, in part, to a resignation rumor, a potentially improper layoff, together with the aforementioned . . . sexual propaganda . . . . [I]t shocks the conscience that same would have occurred over such a long period of time without otherwise being addressed by the employer."

In affirming the Appellate Court held:

"In finding in petitioner's favor, Judge Leslie A. Berich applied correct legal standards.  The Workers' Compensation Act is 'humane social legislation designed to place the cost of work connected injury upon the employer who may readily provide for it as an operating expense.'"

Lori Ross v. City of Asbury Park, Docket No. A-0379-08T3 

Click here to read more about stressful conditions and workers' compensation.