The ACT government has been ordered to pay a bullied employee $9000 after a tribunal found it botched the handling of her compensation claim.
The government has also been directed to consult an expert and properly train its staff in how not to trigger symptoms of its employees' mental injuries.
The former Community Services Directorate employee alleged the way her claim was handled by the government delayed her entitlements and worsened her injury.
She took the government to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, alleging discrimination.
The woman lodged her mental injury claim with Comcare in 2017 and the workplace insurer accepted liability in 2018.
She had been diagnosed with PTSD brought on by bullying and harassment at work.
Her reported symptoms included depression, anxiety, stress, hypervigilance and intrusive thoughts.
But in March 2019 the ACT government became a self-insurer and it took over responsibility for the woman's claim.
A series of emails and replies in which the woman tried to get access to her entitlements is at the heart of her discrimination claim.
She argued a lack of responsiveness, delays and mistakes, and the prescriptiveness of some of the processes, led to delays in her compensation, worsening her PTSD.
The woman alleged the government's actions were a trigger for her hypervigilance and intrusive thoughts.
She was never able to return to the public service and now lived and worked in country NSW running an antiques shop.
Tribunal senior member Mark Hyman found the government effectively imposed a condition the woman navigate the process without its help, saying it disadvantaged the bullied employee and would have had that effect on anyone with PTSD caused by their employment by the ACT.
The government said the woman had been treated just like any other worker under the law.
But Mr Hyman batted that contention away in the decision published last week.
"[The woman's] point is that treating people with her condition the same as every other injured worker has, in her case and potentially in those of others with similar conditions, significantly deleterious, and unequal, effects," he said.
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