Workers can be injured by more than just physical harm while on the job. When a person suffers mental illness and emotional anguish from a work situation, workers’ compensation benefits may be rightfully due. Recently, a former police officer received workers’ compensation for mental damages he suffered after a media-charged pepper spray incident. Legal guidance is always available to help a person who is intimidated or confused about how to approach an employer regarding mental injury.

Reports show that the previous California university officer received $38,055 in workers’ compensation for his mental illness and subsequent disability. In a publicized incident two years ago, the officer purportedly used pepper spray on stationary and calm protesters, sparking rage in the community. An internal investigation found that the actions of the officer were not necessary in the situation.

The officer filed his workers’ compensation claim for anxiety and depression, which resulted from public and private harassment and death threats, in response to the pepper spray confrontation. After the incident, the officer was placed on eight months of paid leave and then was terminated. Reports state that psychiatric court documents revealed significant emotional upheavals in the man, and declared him to be moderately disabled from his mental illness.

California courts are mandated by state law, and the workers’ compensation settlement was resolved accordingly, regardless of what may have occurred in the pepper spray incident. An employee may feel apprehensive about filing a workers’ compensation claim in a similar situation, and may wish to seek legal assistance to gain rightful benefits. This former police officer received his workers’ compensation when his mental disability was found to have been caused by a work-related incident.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Former UC police officer in pepper spray case receives workers’ comp, Larry Gordon, Oct. 23, 2013