In the case of Deshong v Workers’ Compensation Regulator  QIRC 205, an employee received a direction not to attend work at a particular location after she had fractured her shoulder, as her physical limitations prevented her from safely undertaking the travel required.
When she was cleared to return to work, the employee raised concern she would face false gossip surrounding her absence and ‘semi-hostile conditions’ because she had made various workplace complaints. Her employer assured her the complaints she had made remained confidential and there had been no negative comments concerning her absence. She was advised any such gossip or hostility would be investigated and addressed in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures.
The employee developed a psychological injury and sought workers’ compensation, claiming the above direction was a ‘verbal attack’ by her supervisor and that her employer had failed to take action to provide her with a safe workplace upon her impending return to work.
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission found that although the employee’s employment was the major contributing factor to her psychological injury, the above actions fell within the reasonable management action defence, and therefore the psychological injury was not compensable.