Those of us in Chicago, who have an adult work history, have probably worked at one time or another in a toxic environment. Perhaps there is the constant fear of a layoff. Maybe your managers never communicate except to scold or blame. It is possible that office politics lead to promotions rather than skill and experience. It is enough to make a person sick — literally.
It was recently reported that the poor working conditions caused a man to suffer a stress-related heart attack. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission recently ruled that a manager’s heart attack due to stressful working conditions was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Imagine the following scenario:
You manage 30 construction projects with budgets between $16 million and $18 million.
Your projects have problems including disagreements with contractors and architects, arguments during payout meetings, construction delays, budgets going over and construction mistakes.
A project contractor screams in your face.
One day, after a stressful workday, a long traffic-filled drive, a contentious two-hour meeting and an argument with a foreman, your chest tightens. You’re having a heart attack.
The manager claimed that his heart attack was directly related to the ongoing stress of his working conditions. His independent medical examiner testified that the man’s heart attack was related to his extreme, job-related stress.
The manager had to sue for his workers’ compensation benefits, which were granted. Apparently in Illinois, a worker is entitled to benefits for stress “if the working conditions expose the worker to risks greater than those facing the general public.?