The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has noticed an increase in a particular type of workers compensation claims: claims for workplace stress in office environments. These are claims where the stress of the job causes some physical or emotional injuries. There are specific rules under Missouri law as to when an injury due to stress is compensable.
The Department recently announced that the number of stress claims filed rose from 265 stress claims in '08 to 326 in '09. Unemployment claims also increased due to people quitting because of the increased stress.
To help deal with the increase stress in offices, on Thursday June 3, 2010, the Department initiated a program in Kansas City focused on deterring what might be called cubicle stress. The free seminar, kicked off at Mark One Electric Co., promotes stress reduction techniques as simple as breathing exercises and walking away from the computer for a while. Larry Rebman, the director of the Department, noted that his own department had to deal with a lot of stress due to the increase in work comp and unemployment claims. They did a stress reduction program internally and it was successful , so they decided to offer it to businesses whose employees are under a lot of stress.
If you are an employee in Missouri and believe you have been inured to due excessive stress in the workplace, you may be entitled to benefits. Experienced Kansas City workers compensation attorney James Roswold can explain your rights and the law on occupational stress claims.