A court in the Spanish city of Albacete has ruled that the suicide of a council employee should be classed as a work-related accident, after taking into account the man's anxiety and the harassment that he allegedly suffered from his boss.
The municipal employee took his life just one day before returning to his job after taking several days leave due to anxiety believed to have been brought on by the harassment.
The man, a graduate, had repeatedly requested a transfer to another department of the Albacete City Council but his applications were denied, one after another, on the grounds that he had a non-permanent indefinite contract and that there were no vacancies in other positions.
The wife and daughter of the deceased took the matter to court through the CC.OO. union in order for the suicide to be considered as a work accident.
In the landmark ruling, the court did not assess whether or not the worker suffered harassment, but it did consider it proven that the work situation he was experiencing led to his suicide.
The Albacete City Council has claimed that it was not aware of the alleged harassment situation, although the union said that the doctors who treated the municipal employee had always recommended that he change his work department.