Atascadero Unified School Dist. v. WCAB, 98 Cal. App. 4th 880 (2002)

The employee in this case filed an application for workers’ compensation benefits in which she alleged that she had suffered a psychological injury as a result of workplace gossip about her extramarital affair with a coworker. The Court of Appeal annulled the ruling of the WCAB that was in favor of the employee and held as a matter of law that an injury caused by workplace gossip about an employee’s personal life does not arise out of employment. The Court observed that “[e]ven though [the employee] and her paramour were both employees of the District and the gossip occurred at work, the nature of her duties was not the proximate cause of her injury for it merely provided a stage for the event.”