An injured worker in Pennsylvania (and I’m sure every other state) will often suffer from angry, disgruntled, cynical, co-worker retaliation. This happens for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes, the co-workers do not believe that the injured worker is really hurt. Sometimes, the co-workers have to take up the slack for the loss in productivity arising from the injured worker’s disability. Sometimes, the co-workers are just jaded, cynical and depressed people, looking for an avenue to spread their negativity.
But whatever the reason, co-worker retaliation consistently causes one thing- great stress on the injured worker. This stress goes without any compensation. The stress spills over into the family life, and can make it unbearable to go to work every morning. It is very real, very insidious, and very harmful.
Owners, supervisors and managers should have the common sense to instill a policy of no retaliation in the workplace. Undoubtedly, it breeds inefficiency, a lack of unity among workers, and a commensurate loss in output. Sadly, however, I think it is precisely these people who are many times fostering this type of prejudice against the injured worker.