Infliction of Emotional Distress

Extreme emotional distress resulting from interactions with an employer can be considered intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. Just as the employer is expected to provide a physically safe place to work, they are expected to consider the emotional well-being of their employees.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

To file this type of claim, the following criteria must be met:
  • The employer's conduct was intentional or reckless
  • The employer's conduct was extreme
  • The employer's act caused emotional distress
  • The employee severely suffered as a result
An employer's troubling actions and behavior can cause damage to an employee even if physical signs aren't apparent. Psychological issues may require professional remedies as well, and the law allows you to seek damages to pay for these types of treatment. 

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

This claim requires that:
  • The employer was negligent or willfully violated a statute
  • The employee suffered severe emotional distress as a result

Negligence is different from intentional emotional harm because it doesn't necessarily involve the employer's direct actions. Instead, the employer can be held accountable for what they didn't do. For instance, if an employee was left to a severely upsetting task outside of their job description and their supervisor didn't intervene, it can fall in the realm of negligence.

In a workers' compensation claim, this can involve any severe distress the employee has experienced in the workplace. The release, however, may waive the employee's right to bring a suit against the employer even if the claim is not related to their workers' compensation case. It is important to know what you're signing, and having an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side is very valuable. Consult the Coye Law Firm to discuss your workers' compensation rights and how they relate to your ability to seek damages for emotional distress.