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Facebook sued after former content moderator suffers PTSD

A former contract content moderator is suing Facebook and her employment agency in a class action lawsuit for insufficiently protecting her and other moderators from the mental trauma the job allegedly induces.

Class action suit against Facebook

The California woman claims Facebook content moderators regularly review distressing images and broadcasts for the platform that include: child sexual abuse, torture, rape, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder. Consistent exposure to disturbing images such as these can be a cause of Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The company employs 7,500 content reviewers and has been praised for its company perks, including on-site dental and health care and even an on-site barber. The company has also affirmed in the past that content reviewers have access to mental health resources, such as on-site professional counselors. It is unclear whether contract employees are allowed access to the same mental health resources available to full-time employees.

PTSD as an injury

PTSD has been linked to emergency responders, such as firefighters, police and EMTs, as a result of their frequent exposure to crisis situations. PTSD may be a viable workers' compensation claim for federal employees under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). However, other employees are subject to the way their state's workers' compensation law operates.

Workplace mental injuries in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, mental injuries are only covered if they were caused by a physical injury that occurred in the workplace.

Those requiring medical treatment for PTSD caused by events at work are not likely to be covered. However, violent crimes occurring in the workplace may be cause for exemption from this stipulation.

If you are suffering from mental trauma as a result of incidents that happened at work, it's important to document your injuries by seeking medical attention. Next, talk to a lawyer about your options. PTSD is a serious anxiety disorder that can be debilitating and should be defended.

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