Friday, July 26, 2013

Govt Employees' Workers' Comp #PsychiatricDamages Claims Viral

As news that the notorious John Pike of pepper spray fame was making a workers' comp claim at California taxpayers' expense for "psychiatric damages" resulting from his persistent infamy, a rash of copycat suits have been filed by federal and state employees.

Pike became instantly famous when photos of him spraying UC Davis students who were peacefully occupying a part of their campus became a meme with seemingly endless variations. According to SF Gate reporter Ellen Huet, his representatives have said

...Pike subsequently received more than 17,000 angry or threatening e-mails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters, plus unwanted magazines, products and food delivered to his home. He has moved several times and changed his phone number and e-mail address to avoid the harassment...

It took the University of California months from the incident to fire Pike, which he says added to the stress he had already experienced from having his personal information and that of his family spread far and wide by Internet activists. He has been jumpy, irritable, and unable to work since losing his job as a campus police officer.

Today a similar claim was filed by NSA analyst Brent Nealy, 35, who claimed he is no longer able to go to the corner store for Red Bull without other customers either scuttling away in fear or, less frequently, trailing him about the store pointing and hissing, "You. Spy! You. Spy!" Nealy said he has not been sleeping well lately, and is considering claiming loss of consortium as well, because his girlfriend stopped speaking to him and sleeping with him as soon as Edmund Snowden's revelations came out.

Department of Defense employee Lara Botticelli, 26, also filed a workers' comp claim in Maryland today due to having to cross what she termed "hostile picket lines" on her way in to her low level administrative job at Ft. Meade where Bradley Manning's court martial trial has been held for the past several months.

The protesters she must pass through were not engaged in a labor action or strike, but Ms. Botticelli told a NYT reporter, "Scabs better not get in my path or their raggedy asses going to be knocked on the pavement." After she was served with a summons for making threatening statements, she screamed loudly and began hitting herself in the head, injuring her neck in the process. She has been in a brace and out of work since the incident.

Thousands of other federal workers as well as municipal employees in New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia and thirty-seven other cities have filed "psychiatric damages" claims with their respective states' workers' compensation offices, claiming their status as government employees has endangered their mental health.

If all the claims filed today were approved, the total cost of compensation would approach $1 trillion, or about as much as the U.S. has spent on foreign wars since the events of 9/11. In fact, several of the claimants cited 9/11/01 as the start date for the pressure cooker that their jobs eventually became.

(Ok, most of this is not true. Except for the parts about John Pike, I made it up. Don't you ever have a day when you really wish you wrote for The Onion?)


Atiq Zabinski said...

by said...

LOVE Pike (rigid) on the analyst's couch. TY!