Facts About Suing For Emotional Distress at Work
In the workplace, there are many times that a person may find that their typical workplace goes from being a comforting environment to one that they want to avoid. Why does this happen? Every day at businesses throughout the world, people may find that they are experiencing emotional distress.
This is on top of the stress that they are already feeling from their job. In many cases, this emotional distress is from another person that is working with you. This could be a manager, boss, or even a co-worker who is causing this emotional distress that is making it hard for you to go to work with a smile on your face.
The problem is that many people think that they do not have any rights when it comes to the emotional distress that they are suffering from. That is simply not the case! You do not have to find a new job or learn how to tough it out.
Emotional distress is something that no one should have to tolerate. No one should have to feel as though they are at a loss as to what to do.
How to Prove Emotional Distress is Happening
When it comes to emotional distress, this is either being caused negligently or intentionally inflicted upon a person. The key is proving that this emotional distress is happening and how to figure out which type of emotional distress that you are suffering from.
Negligent emotional distress happens when a person does something that causes the emotional distress that they did not realize they were doing, or they simply were acting in a way that they did not care if they hurt someone or not.
The principle with this type of emotional distress is that the person should have used reasonable care in order to avoid causing emotional damage to someone else, yet they did not. For example, you could have witnessed a co-worker getting injured on the job, and you were right there beside this person.
The cause of the injury was due to someone not handling the equipment properly and you are scarred due to what you have seen.
Intentional emotional distress happens when a person has extremely outrageous behavior that resulted in this emotional distress.
For example, a person with a bad temper may scream and shout at someone that works under them and embarrass them in front of the entire office. This could be considered emotional distress if the person were to have done this due to the fact that they wanted to embarrass the worker.
Types of Emotional Distress a Person can Experience
When it comes to the reasons why a person may experience emotional distress, this can vary from person to person, along with varying depending on the type of job the person has.
Here are a few examples:
- Suffering emotional distress after a co-worker has repeatedly stalked a person or asked them out on a date, refusing to say no
- Being embarrassed in front of the entire business by a manager who wants to showcase your flaws
- Having a jokester in the office who routinely tries to scare people, and it has resulted in people being on edge
- Being witness to something that was physically hurtful, even though they may not have been the ones hurt
The list continues on. That is why it is so hard for a person to realize that emotional distress can be caused by random, everyday events that are greatly affecting their satisfaction of their job and could potentially hurt them in the future.
Signs of Emotional Distress
For those who believe that they may be suffering with emotional distress, here are some common signs:
- Eating too little or too much
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Pulling away from family and friends
- Having little to no energy
- Having aches and pains throughout the body that cannot be explained as to how they got there
- Feeling as though you are helpless or hopeless
- Using smoking, drinking or other drugs as a way to cope with how you are feeling
- Worrying all of the time
- Feeling guilty all of the time even though you are unsure of what you are feeling guilty about
- Thinking about hurting yourself
- Having a hard time adjusting at home or at work
- Being less interested in work
- Having a hard time dealing with conflict
- Having bursts of anger or even crying spells for no reason other than you feel like you need to
For those who have more than just a few nerves when they go into the workplace, it could be a sign that is dealing with emotional distress.
Can I Sue for Emotional Distress at Work?
What can you do if you do feel as though you are a victim of emotional distress at work? There are a few things that you can do.
- Be sure to start documenting the incidents that are leading up to emotional distress. For those who witnessed an event, this would be their documentation. However, for those who are dealing with ongoing issues, they need to note down who was involved and what happened to cause this emotional distress.
- Talk to your manager or boss about these instances. Most workplaces have a zero-tolerance policy for any type of behavior that leads to a person feeling distressed. Talk to them about what is happening and see what they intend to do about this.
For the most part, those who talk to their boss are able to find a happy ground for this issue.
This may mean working in a different department to get away from the stressor, or if someone is found to be at fault, they could be removed from their position. However, what happens when your boss does not consider your statement of having emotional distress anything to worry about?
Unfortunately, this does happen from time to time. When this happens, you do have options. You can sue your employer for the emotional distress that they have caused. In many cases, if you have reported this to your boss and no action was taken, the courts will side with you since the employer took no course of action.
You can sue for damages that this emotional distress has caused. For example, if you started calling into work to avoid going and lost wages due to this, then this is damage that you could sue for.
The key with this is to have the documented evidence that emotional distress was taking place in the workplace. The compensation for emotional distress is going to vary according to the level of distress that the person has dealt with.
For those who are looking for help, Conte Jaswal is a leading personal injury attorney that can fight for you. We can work with you on your case, to gather the evidence and prove that the employer did not do everything that they could to prevent this from happening.
Give us a call today to get started! We are ready to help you in suing for emotional distress at work.
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