Is Stress a Valid Complaint to Get Workers’ Compensation

Is Stress a Valid Complaint to Get Workers’ Compensation?

Workplace injuries happen all the time. While the most common injuries are all physical, many may not know that injuries sustained in the workplace can also affect a person's mental state. Such a case is especially prevalent in the current generation of the workforce, where fast-paced careers are the norm, and stress levels are at an all-time high.

When talking about the workplace injuries that affect the mental state, stress is a common denominator. Stress may be an occasional nuisance for some workers. However, when it builds up, it can result in damaged mental health and the development of other illnesses, like depression and anxiety.

Now, the question is, can you get worker's compensation for stress and anxiety in California?

Is It Possible to Get Workers' Compensation for Stress in California?

Similar to common injuries, there is no straightforward manner to answer this question. However, what's unique in this situation is that the Californian state does not have a law that explicitly covers stress relief.

Thankfully, worker's compensation laws give you the right to file a claim for psychiatric injuries due to extreme stress in the workplace. It's also worth noting that the Family Medical Leave Act may give you better leverage, thus resulting in a favorable outcome for your case.

What Are the Factors That Can Affect Possible Workers' Compensation?

When filing a workers’ compensation claim, some factors can either tip the scales towards your side or away from it. Here are some you should keep in mind while filing for worker's compensation.

Professional Diagnosis for Mental Disorder

Receiving the professional opinion of a trained psychiatrist is one of the best ways to secure worker's compensation for stress and anxiety in California.

In this regard, your psychiatrist must give you a proper diagnosis for a disorder that affects your mental health. It will also help if they confirm that you need prompt treatment to prevent any more harm to your person.

Should the situation turn out positively, you will likely be granted compensation for your deteriorating mental health as well as a guarantee that you can resume your station once you're in a better mental state. If complications arise during your claim, you need to consider getting in touch with a worker's compensation attorney to help you with your case.

California Labor Code

The California Labor Code is a compilation of statutes that discusses wages, hours, and working conditions in the state. It is enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Code 3208.3, in particular, states that you may receive workers' compensation for psychiatric injury, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • You have been working with your employer for at least six months.
  • Your psychiatric condition is covered in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
  • You have documents or other substantial proof that shows your job position affecting your mental health.
  • The process of litigation is not the actual cause of your mental health deteriorating.
  • Personnel actions regarding the quality of your work, such as proper criticism or promotion discussions, did not cause your mental condition.

Keep in mind that working with a worker's compensation attorney can ease the burdens of examining the code for your claim. Their expertise may even shorten the process.


Filing for worker's compensation for your mental condition is a delicate process that will take time and effort. Fortunately, you always have the option to consult with worker's compensation attorneys, whose proficiency in the subject matter and resources can aid in securing a more positive outcome for your situation.

If you are looking for workers' compensation attorneys in San Francisco, consider getting in touch with Pacific Workers', the lawyer for injured workers. Our legal team will do our utmost to achieve a desirable ruling for your case. Contact 800-606-6999 for a free consultation today.