Two Microsoft Employees Sue For PTSD

Have you ever gotten a tad overzealous in your internet searching and found yourself in an unfamiliar part of the vast internet? While the internet is a great source of information, it has some dark corners, too. Make one wrong click, and you might end up on a horrifying website, or come across violent or perverted images.

Thankfully, companies like Microsoft do what they can to spare our eyes and minds. Microsoft has specific employees who mine through online content. They remove or report any illegal or overly graphic content. Knowing the internet, we’re sure this is a disturbing task— and in a recent lawsuit, two employees argue that their job is too disturbing.

Microsoft Lawsuit

In the lawsuit against Microsoft, the two employees allege that their job has resulted in severe mental anguish. They claim that their job forced them to look at online content related to a variety of unsavory topics, including child pornography, bestiality, and graphic videos of murder and sexual assault. As a result, both employees now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, including flashback and hallucinations, dissociation, and panic attacks. One of them claims that even being around his own son triggers traumatic memories of what he has witnessed.

Both say that they did not receive warning about the heaviness of their task. Both add that Microsoft did not supply adequate psychological support for the workers on the safety task force. Additionally, both took medical leave to cope with their PTSD, but Microsoft refused to pay workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ Compensation and Mental Health

While the circumstances of this lawsuit are unique, companies denying compensation for psychological injuries is a common occurrence. Generally, workers’ compensation is only available for a physical injury, though some exceptions apply. For people in certain careers, however, like first responders, it becomes increasingly difficult to win compensation. Since these jobs tend to involve trauma, it is considered a regular aspect of their workplace. Therefore, compensation is not as readily

It will be interesting to see how this case resolves. If you are suffering from a work-related mental injury, consider consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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