Workers’ Compensation covers all on-the-job injuries, except….sexual harassment …. even if the worker and the harasser met through their employment. This summer, the Industrial Claims Appeals Panel upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s decision that sexual harassment is not “compensable” as a work injury. The Judge reasoned that the harassment was the result of personal interaction and did not occur while the harasser and the worker were performing their employment duties.
At first glance this decision may seem silly, particularly if work brought the worker to the harasser’s attention. However the benefits under workers’ compensation are very limited compared to the civil damages available to workers who sue their employers for harassment. In a civil case the worker can recover compensation for pain and suffering, punitive damages, future wage loss, and attorneys fees – benefits which are not available in workers’ compensation.
As always, how this or any other case we discuss in this blog would apply to your case depends on many more factors. We urge you to call us to see if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your FREE CONSULTATION.
Cite: Zanotelli v. Evraz, Inc., W.C. 4-860-562-04, (ICAO June 19, 2013),