Politico can be a hard thing to escape in Washington.
It’s mid-March, and Politico senior labor reporter Mike Elk has been working outside of his suburban Virginia newsroom for almost two months now.
For a little while, it seemed like management took issue with his announcement to unionize his newsroom. The optics weren’t looking good — he announces his plight to unionize and suddenly he’s gone from the newsroom?
Elk eventually released a statement saying that was not the case and that he has STSD — Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder. “POLITICO has been very accommodating to me and my need for treatment,” he wrote. A longtime union friend of Elk’s told The Daily Caller that he’s suffered from PTSD-related issues for years as the result of one of his sources committing suicide. Elk has attended a support group and has talked openly about getting therapy for it. [RELATED: Has Anybody Seen Politico’s Labor Reporter Mike Elk?]
When a person has PTSD (or STDS), workplaces must accommodate the employee — i.e. letting the afflicted work in an atmosphere that won’t trigger their symptoms. [RELATED: Mike Elk Speaks Out About Why He’s Been MIA From Politico’s Newsroom]
With the unionizing mission underway and whispers of Elk’s prickly relations with some of his editors, it’s not a hard conclusion to draw that workplace issues might be setting off his PTSD/STSD.
Then he has to go to his therapist’s office and see Politico? She (or he) can’t remove copies on the days he comes?
Always fascinating to see copies of @politico at my therapists office
— Mike Elk (@MikeElk) March 12, 2015