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Fire fighting veteran says workplace illness result of bullying

Fire fighters in a town outside of California lamented the recent departure of a long-time colleague. They say the 25-year veteran knew everything about their town and was a talented asset to their team who will be sorely missed. The veteran sergeant is said to have left the force due to a workplace illness that involved his mental health.

The relationship between the fire fighter and his chief was known to be contentious. On multiple occasions, the sergeant accused his boss of bullying him to the point of becoming mentally unstable. He said he now suffers from post traumatic stress illness and experiences stress and anxiety at such high levels that he is no longer able to return to work.

Earlier in September, the fire fighter took an extended medical leave of absence. He then decided to retire altogether because his condition had not improved, and he feared repercussions if he returned to work alongside the same chief. Medical records are said to contain evidence of workplace violence, bullying and belittling perpetrated by an administrator against the now mentally ill former fire fighter.

In California and all other states, employers are required to purchase insurance that covers the cost of medical bills and replaces lost wages for injured employees who claim benefits. As is demonstrated by the recent situation in another state, not every workplace illness is physical. Any worker who has questions or concerns regarding mental illness as it relates to possible workers' compensation may request a meeting with an experienced attorney to discuss the issue.

Source: wjhl.com, "Longtime Johnson City firefighter retires early, cites workplace conditions", Nate Morabito, Sept. 19, 2016

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