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Study: Sexual harassment leads to physical, psychological problems

Every day it seems as if another powerful politician or media figure is accused of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct. It turns out that workplace harassers make the lives of their victims unpleasant in more than one way.

A university study shows that sexual harassment in the workplace directly contributes to physical and psychological problems for victims, who suffer higher rates of depression, stress, obesity, sleep loss and symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Ball State University's report titled “Workplace Harassment and Morbidity Among US Adults” is based on an analysis of 17,500 participants in the 2010 National Health Interview.

“Harassment or bullying suffered by American employees is severe and extremely costly for employers across the country,” the lead author of the study said. “Harassment harms victims, witnesses and organizations where such interactions occur."

The study found that female harassment victims report higher rates of pain disorders (migraines, neck pain, etc.) and increased psychological distress.

Workers subjected to harassment and bullying not only endure the stress caused by their co-workers' inappropriate behavior, but also endure the stress brought on by related physical and psychological illnesses and symptoms.

For those who must miss work due to injury or illness, their problems are compounded when their North Carolina workers' compensation claim is denied. With the help of a skilled attorney experienced in navigating the workers' comp paperwork, procedures and process, workers can often prevail on appeal and begin to receive the medical care and wage replacement to which they are entitled.

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