Jeremy Cox began working for Saks Fifth Avenue as a sales associate in the handbag department in November 2011, just before the holiday shopping season. In April 2012, he filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, alleging that he developed anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, insomnia and weight loss due to work-related stress. Following hearings, a New York State Workers’ Compensation Law Judge (WCLJ) agreed that Cox had a valid claim. The full Workers’ Compensation Board reversed the ruling, finding that Cox hadn’t demonstrated that he was exposed to any stress that was any greater than that experienced by his peers. Cox appealed, and the N.Y. state appeals court reversed, sending the case back to the Workers’ Compensation Board and giving Cox a second chance to prove his claim.

At his workers’ comp hearing, Cox testified that, during a promotional event for a manufacturer of high-priced luxury goods, his supervisor told him to fabricate reserve orders by falsely indicating that individual customers intended to purchase the manufacturer’s handbags for the purpose of increasing the store inventory. As directed, Cox submitted two fabricated orders during the event, which required him to provide the customers’ personal information including credit card numbers.

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