When you hear the words “workplace harassment,” you may not immediately think about injuries. After all, most workplace harassment and abuse – be it on the basis of sex, race, or other personal characteristics – tends to be verbal rather than physical.
However, studies have shown that the effects of workplace harassment and discrimination can have a far deeper and more lasting toll than many people realize, and can sometimes even manifest in long-term physical health problems. Depending on the scale, length, and persistence of the harassment, you may need years of therapy or medical treatment to process the stress and humiliation you’ve endured.
Workplace Discrimination at Tesla
In one recent example, four different discrimination lawsuits were filed against technology giant Tesla, alleging racial bias against black people in the Fremont auto manufacturing facility. The mistreatment described by one of the plaintiffs, DeWitt Lambert, was exceptionally severe. Including threats of lynching and mutilation, along with the repeated use of violent hate speech such as the N-word, the lawsuit alleges that Tesla did little to make the workplace feel safe for Mr. Lambert.
In response to the lawsuits, Tesla has since fired several of the offending employees, but the statements released by the company still show a chilling indifference to the traumatizing effects of workplace harassment. Accusing Mr. Lambert of “frequently socializing” with his harassers and privately telling employees they need to be “thick-skinned” about racial slurs, Tesla has shown time and again that it does not take seriously its duty to create a safe workplace.
The Physical Effects of Harassment
Far more than just hurt feelings, the trauma experienced after serious workplace harassment of the kind found at Tesla can take a long time to heal. Depression and anxiety disorders are common, and if no justice can be found, some victims of harassment may even experience thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Additionally, the constant stress can cause elevated levels of cortisol and self-medicating behavior, which in turn may become a physical injury or health condition.
In addition to mental and emotional damages, the most common physical injuries that may result from workplace harassment include:
- Stress-induced migraines
- Chronic headaches
- Weight gain and obesity
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alcoholism and drug addiction
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Chronic neck pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Get the Compassionate and Dedicated Representation You Deserve
When companies fail to prevent or stop workplace harassment, the results can be devastating. You may worry about paying for proper medical treatment and therapy, or you may simply want to seek justice after your experiences. Either way, our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys can help you fight for your rights, both as an employee and as an individual. We have more than 25 years of trial experience and never charge upfront fees. From the minute we take on your case, we won’t rest until we can help you find a way to move forward.
If you’ve been harassed and suffered injuries as a result, contact Casey Law Offices, S.C. today at (414) 272-5564 for a free consultation.