The Dream Police
The claimant, a former police detective, was demoted to night patrol duty. According to her testimony, she experienced such stress over the transfer and the resultant inability to maintain contact with the victims in her cases any longer that she fell off her bed and passed out. She sought benefits under the diagnoses of PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
The Appeals Panel, in Decision No. 211953 (decided January 21, 2022) clarified that while a compensable claim of PTSD can be found from one or more events occurring in the course and scope of employment, rather than from a single traumatizing event as had been the standard prior to September 1, 2019, those events must still be traceable to a definite time, place and cause, and may not be because of a “legitimate personnel action, including a transfer, promotion, demotion, or termination,” per Section 408.006(b) of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.
The AP affirmed the decision of the Administrative Law Judge that the origin for the claimed injury was a demotion—a legitimate personnel action—and thus not a properly compensable claim.