Respect and diversity workshop left me with PTSD, claims public servant
A former public servant says she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after attending a workplace respect and diversity workshop four years ago.
But Karen Hutchinson, who has been off work and receiving workers’ compensation since 2011, has lost a bid in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have her payments backdated for a year.
Ms Hutchinson said she suffered a mental breakdown after being subjected to a “death threat” in the workshop on workplace bullying on March 5, 2010.
The former claims manager for federal workplace insurer Comcare said that during a role-playing exercise stimulating threats in the workplace, her boss turned to her and whispered: “I’m going to f—ing” kill you."
Ms Hutchinson who said she had a history of being bullied during her work at Comcare, told the Tribunal that her “psychological integrity came to a crashing halt” that day but she did not seek medical treatment until January 2011, after taking a long holiday that included a cruise around Europe.
Her employer Comcare agreed to pay compensation for a “major depressive illness” from January 31, 2011, the date Ms Hutchinson first sought treatment.
But the former public servant, who has since retired to Western Australia, fought that decision, claiming she should be compensated for PTSD from the day of the ill-fated bullying workshop nearly a year earlier.
I can only imagine what a lawyer here in the US could do with a case like that.