A Tik Tok Moderator is suing the company for severe psychological trauma.
The facts reported are unique. The Moderator, while performing duties for TikTok, actually worked for a Third Party Contracting Firm called Telus International.
She is currently pursuing a civil action against Tik Tok.
She reports psychological trauma relates to watching hours of graphic content to moderate it to see if the videos meet community guidelines before they are placed on the platform. Additionally, she reported that there was so much content that they would watch three and ten videos at the same time in order to keep up during their 12-hour shifts. Additionally, moderators were only allowed to take one 15 minute break in the first four hours of her shift, and then was only permitted to take additional 15 minute breaks every two hours afterwards. She reported that TikTok ‘heavily punishes any time taken away from watching graphic videos.’ It is reported that as a result of her work, she suffers from depression, anxiety, and PTSD, which left her with ‘severe and debilitating’ panic attacks. Dailymail.com
Given the fact pattern, there are important issues concerning whether there is a valid workers’ compensation claim.
Who Was the Tik Tok Moderator’s Employer?
The facts indicate that she did not work for Tik Tok directly. She worked for a Third Party Contracting Company. For workers’ compensation purposes, her actual employer was the Third Party Contracting firm and not Tik Tok. Since she is not an employee of Tik Tok, she reportedly is pursuing a civil action against them.
Is There a Basis for a Psychiatric Work Claim?
On an initial assessment, there is ample evidence to support a claim for a psychiatric injury. To do so, however, the predominant cause, must be work-related and a substantial cause, 35-40 percent, cannot be the result of a non-discriminatory good faith personnel action.
Therefore, two things must take place. First, an assessment should be made concerning stressors outside of work. Second, an assessment should be made as to the nature of the employment stressors. Are the stressors to be considered as personnel actions? If so, were they non-discriminatory and in good faith?
Thus, an analysis would be done as to the various sources of work stress: viewing disturbing content, viewing multiple videos at the same time, the demand to continue work duties viewing the content. In the end, a Trier of Fact or Judge will determine issues of non-discriminatory good faith personnel action.
Does The Worker Have An Injury?
It is reported that she suffers from depression, anxiety and PTSD. She reported that she suffered from severe and debilitation panic attacks. If these diagnosis were confirmed by a medical health provider within the workers’ compensation system, the psychiatric injury is valid. The causation factor, as described above, would determine whether it is to be considered as industrial or work-related.
What If I Need Legal Advice?
If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.