Sinnott Solicitors have dealt with hundreds of employment claims for bullying and stress and many of those claims lead to personal injury claims for damage to their physical, psychological and psychiatric wellbeing as a result of the bullying and/or stress experienced in the workplace.
Sinnott Solicitors have specialised in employment law claims since the establishment of the firm.
What should I do if I am stressed or experience bullying in the workplace?
Employees who are suffering from stress in their workplace or indeed bullying in the workplace who are contemplating making a claim for personal injuries against their employer should bring the conduct complained of to their employer’s attention as soon as ever possible.
The reason for bringing such a complaint to the employer’s attention at an early stage is to demonstrate later on that the injury could have been prevented because of the employer’s knowledge of the complaint.
By bringing the bullying and stress to the attention of the employer as soon as possible, employees can show that any future injury that they may suffer as a result of the bullying and stress could and should have been anticipated by their employers.
There are thousands of personal injury cases relating to excessive stress and bullying in the workplace throughout the UK and Ireland and the law in each jurisdiction is very similar.
A number of conditions must be met before a work related stress or bullying claim can give rise to a claim for personal injuries as follows:
- An employee must have been diagnosed with a recognised psychiatric illness in order to bring such a claim. A recognised psychiatric illness can include depression, an adjustment disorder and many other disorders which can go undiagnosed for a good deal of time until properly assessed by a Psychiatrist.
- The Claimant must prove that the personal injury arising from the stress and bullying in the workplace was reasonably foreseeable by the employer. Therefore by informing the employer at an early stage of the stress and/or workplace bullying, it would be difficult for an employer to defend the case on the basis that they had no knowledge of the bullying later on during the course of the proceedings.
- The personal injury arising from bullying and stress in the workplace must have been caused in the workplace. If it is found that the personal injury suffered is not related to the workplace, the employer could not be held fully liable for the injuries.
If all of the above conditions are met an employee should be entitled to recover compensation for any personal injuries arising from work related stress and/or bullying in the workplace.
On our website you will see an extensive employment law section which sets out the various employment law services that we offer.
One of the very important preparatory steps in any personal injuries case for bullying and stress in the workplace is the necessity to exhaust all of the internal remedies available to the employee before having recourse to the Court system or any other tribunal.
Every employer should have a staff handbook in place outlining various procedures which should be used in the event that an employee has a complaint mechanism to their employer about any treatment that they are concerned about in the workplace. Those procedures are generally called a grievance procedure and such a complaint can be made in a formal or informal manner.
Sinnott Solicitors will explain the process thoroughly to you from beginning to end and we will ensure that you will receive the maximum compensation available to you in the event that you sustain personal injury in the workplace arising from stress and/or bullying in the workplace.
Niall’s Story: Personal Injuries case for Bullying in the workplace
Niall was employed by a semi-state owned passenger commuting company in Ireland.
Niall encountered a number of difficulties in the workplace with difficult colleagues and immediately brought those difficulties to the attention of the acting facilitator. He also encountered many difficulties with his team leader and he experienced bullying from his team leader.
He was subsequently assaulted in the workplace by one of his colleagues and little or nothing was done to alleviate his concerns and/or provide him with a safe system of work for him.
Niall raised a grievance about the treatment of him in the workplace and as part of that grievance he also complained about another issue. This was his continued denial of a promotion in the workplace despite the fact that Niall had applied for no less than 13 positions in order to take him away from the personnel responsible for bullying him in the workplace.
He was not successful in his application for any of those positions and most of the positions were filled by personnel who were less experienced than him in terms of years of service and ability.
Eventually after two years of continuous ill treatment Niall sought the assistance of Sinnott Solicitors in order to assess the strength of a potential personal injuries claim that he could bring against his employer for failing to discharge their duty of care towards him and failing to prevent the psychiatric injuries which he sustained as a result of his ill treatment in the workplace.
The case was extremely complex because of the sheer volume of factual information and incidents. The medical evidence made it quite clear that Niall had suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of his treatment in the workplace and no other causative factor for such injuries existed.
The case took approximately five years to deal with from beginning to end because it became necessary for Sinnott Solicitors to make an application for discovery of certain documents from Niall’s employer.
Eventually Niall’s case settled and Niall received compensation in the sum of €129,000 together with his costs of the High Court action.
This is just an example of one of the cases that Sinnott Solicitors has dealt with concerning workplace bullying personal injuries and workplace stress personal injuries matters.
Sinnott Solicitors have successfully acted for a number of clients in these types of cases against An Garda Siochana and other state bodies. We have taken a number of personal injuries cases involving work related stress and bullying against financial institutions, hospitals, the Health Service Executive, the Revenue Commissioners, a number of other civil service departments and a number of private employers.