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California workers’ rights and stress-related illnesses

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2016 | Workplace Injuries |

A recent study examines the role of stress in workplace illnesses, and the findings are surprising. While some stress can actually be helpful to employees, some people in California may be getting sick from working in stressful environments. Bosses and managers may be infringing on workers’ rights by creating high-stress environments and failing to acknowledge the damage that occurs.

Everyone has had that feeling when the pulse speeds up, breathing becomes rapid, and hands begin to sweat because they are faced with a task that carries an enormous amount of weight such as a presentation or report deadline. Research shows that a certain amount of stress can be a motivating factor. The body responds by releasing adrenaline and cortisol which make us more alert and help us to learn from the experience. When the stressful moment passes, the body’s hormone levels return to normal.

When this release of hormones is constant without relief, major systems of the body are impacted include the respiratory, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. This may manifest as weight gain or sleeplessness or even more seriously as asthma, panic attacks or heart disease. In one study, 61 percent of the respondents said they suffered from an illness they believe was caused by workplace stress. Over 40 percent said that had to quit a job because the environment was too stressful.

Employers in California can create a sense of urgency without making the workplace unhealthy. Setting manageable deadlines and allowing required breaks seem reasonable to prevent illness among employees. However, if employees feel they have been made ill at work or may have lost their job due to stress-related illness, they may consider seeking the advice of an experienced attorney who knows how to protect workers’ rights.

Source:, “Can Stress at Work Actually Be a Good Thing for Your Business?“, Laura Hamill, Accessed on June 19, 2016