Magazine article HRMagazine

What Should I Do When an Employee Tells Me Her Co-Worker Is Cutting Herself?

Magazine article HRMagazine

What Should I Do When an Employee Tells Me Her Co-Worker Is Cutting Herself?

Article excerpt

Investigate the matter promptly. Cutting one's own body is a selfharming behavior that could indicate that an individual is under extreme emotional stress or has a serious mental health condition.

For some people, slicing their skin provides a temporary feeling of relief from emotional pain. But it is often followed by shame and guilt and could even result in a serious physical injury such as an infection or an excessive loss of blood.

Observe the situation. People who self-harm might withdraw from others. They might wear long sleeves to conceal their injuries. If appropriate based on your observations, ask the employee if she or he needs help.

Self-harming behavior could be the symptom of a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the statute, employers are permitted to ask a worker medical questions if they believe a direct threat is present. …

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