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How Employee Burnout May Entitle You to Workers’ Compensation Benefits


Workplace stress, unrealistic deadlines, unmanageable workload, unfair treatment at work, as well as other factors, can result in worker burnout. This condition is prevalent in practically all industries, and an ever-increasing number of employees across many sectors are beginning to recognize symptoms of burnout.

Unfortunately, not all of them know how to address worker burnout. Not long ago, the World Health Organization recognized burnout as a diagnosable condition, though the state of Florida does not consider it an occupational illness yet.

Nonetheless, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are suffering from work-related burnout.

A large-scale employee burnout study by Gallup revealed that 23% of workers admitted to feeling burned out at work “always” or “very often,” while 44% others said they felt burnout “sometimes.” In other words, nearly two-thirds of full-time workers in the U.S. experience work-related burnout.

Worker Burnout as a Diagnosable Condition

In May 2019, the WHO recognized employee burnout as a legitimate medical diagnosis. The organization lists the condition in the International Classifications of Diseases (ICD-11). Although worker burnout has been studied by researchers for years, they had a hard time defining the term.

Moreover, before a correct diagnosis of burnout can be made, doctors must rule out psychiatric conditions with similar symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. The ICD-11 defines worker burnout as a condition resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been correctly managed. Burnout can be characterized by three “dimensions”:

  1. Running low on energy (exhaustion);
  2. Developing negativism or cynicism towards your job (increased mental distance from the job); and
  3. Having diminished professional efficacy (low productivity).

Employees who experience burnout are characterized as anxious, irritable, stressed-out, and prone to negative and cynical thoughts regarding their job. Worker burnout may also increase an employee’s risk of a workplace accident.

Burnout can impact overall employee safety. A burned-out worker may begin to respond slower to emergency situations, misuse machinery or equipment, or drive inattentively.

Getting Workers’ Comp Benefits for Employee Burnout

So far, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not come up with any standards related to worker burnout. To prevent and manage employee burnout more efficiently, employers should take the initiative and educate their workers about the condition.

Ideally, employers may need to come up with an employee assistance program or even offer paid time off work for employees who experience job-related burnout. But is a worker who suffers from burnout eligible to begin the workers’ compensation claim process?

Under certain circumstances, Florida workers suffering from burnout may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits that would cover their medical expenses, if any, as well as the loss of income.

However, proving that employee burnout is a workers’ comp injury can be tricky, especially if the employer argues that the worker is to blame for aggravating or being unable to properly manage their condition.

If you believe that you are suffering from employee burnout and want to seek workers’ comp benefits, get help from a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney. While worker burnout is not an official reason to collect workers’ comp in Florida, it can be part of an illness or condition that is eligible for compensation. Contact Kobal Law to discuss eligibility in your situation. Call at 813-873-2440.




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