The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 13,000 New Mexico workers got hurt on the job in 2021. If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you expect support and understanding, especially from your employer. An injury at work disrupts your routine, and your main focus should be recovery.
However, some employees report experiences where their employers seem to manipulate or undermine their perception of events. They question their decisions and sometimes even their sanity. This manipulative tactic, known as gaslighting, can be distressing. Recognizing the signs of gaslighting from your employer and knowing how to respond is important if that happens to you.
Questions about your injury or illness
If your employer frequently suggests your injury might not be as severe as you believe or implies you are exaggerating, they could be trying to gaslight you. Regularly questioning your physical or emotional pain can make you doubt your experience.
Denys previous conversations or agreements
Does your employer often deny having specific conversations or making agreements about your claim? This behavior can be a gaslighting technique. When someone denies previous interactions consistently, it can make you second-guess your memory.
Always believe in your feelings and memories. If something feels off, it likely is. Record all events, conversations and interactions related to your workers’ compensation claim. You may also find it helpful to discuss your situation with trusted coworkers who might have seen the incident or know about your situation. Their perspective and validation can help counter gaslighting attempts.
Trivializes your experience
Some employers may try to belittle or trivialize your experience. Comments like “Others have had worse” or “It was just a minor accident” attempt to downplay your injury and make you feel you are overreacting.
Changes the narrative
If your employer often changes their story about the incident or tries to blame you, they may be trying to alter your understanding of events. Frequent changes in the narrative can make you question your recollection.
Stay informed about your rights
New Mexico has regulations that ensure the protection of workers, especially when it comes to workplace injuries. If you feel your employer is acting inappropriately regarding your workers’ compensation claim, you can file a complaint through the Workers’ Compensation Administration.
Dealing with gaslighting while recovering from a workplace injury can be challenging. By knowing how to respond if it happens to you, you can defend yourself and make sure you get the support and compensation you need.