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Can I Sue My Employer for Stress and Anxiety?

Stressed at work? You might be asking yourself, “can I sue my employer for stress and anxiety?”

Emotional distress at work can be a real problem. If a worker feels like they have suffered emotional distress, they may have an employer whose demands threaten their mental health, cause mental anguish, or whose extreme and outrageous conduct can manifest in physical symptoms of workers.

A California employer can be sued for harmful conduct for any job related stress they caused that may have caused emotional distress or emotional injuries in employees.

If an employee has ever thought, “my boss is causing me emotional distress?,” reaching out to employment lawyers to see if there is an opportunity to recover damages for mental distress and emotional distress is a good idea. The attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC can help while abiding by the California fair employment laws.


Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?

Yes, you can sue your employer for emotional distress if you can prove that their actions or negligence caused severe emotional harm. Emotional distress damages and workplace stress usually constitute mental distress or mental health issues caused by workplace stress. There are typically two categories for emotional distress claims: “pain and suffering” and “infliction of emotional distress.”

Pain and Suffering is a broader category and includes an emotional distress claim where someone’s mental health was affected because of a physical injury and therefore, they want to sue for emotional distress as a result.

Infliction of Emotional Distress occurs when a plaintiff isn’t necessarily physically injured, but they do wish to seek justice if they experienced emotional distress or trauma by witnessing or enduring emotional harm in the workplace or because of workplace demands or extreme or outrageous behavior. Victims could have a lawsuit even if their employer negligently inflicted emotional distress.

An employment attorney on the powerful team at Lawyers for Justice, PC can help victims navigate an emotional abuse workplace lawsuit if they have experienced physical or emotional distress.

Proving an Emotional Distress Claim

For emotional distress claims to be valid, such claims must prove an employer displayed an intentional infliction of job related stressors, displayed negligent conduct, or failed to recognize the mental health and safety of their employees. Keep a record of your experience. Some ways to prove workplace stress and anxiety for an emotional distress claim can include:

  • Demonstrating symptoms associated with emotional distress, including when they started and how long they lasted. This could mean keeping a record of one’s daily routine and documenting any changes or other adverse reactions associated with emotional distress.
  • Documenting any physical symptoms that may have resulted from the emotional distress, including shortness of breath, chest pain, or other negative effects that could be caused by anxiety.
  • Documenting the intensity of the emotional distress and how a reasonable person would be deleteriously affected by the effects. Courts are more likely to rule in a plaintiff’s favor if the intensity of the unnecessary stress and anxiety is severe and pervasive.
  • Receiving medical treatment and obtaining records and recommendations from medical professionals that describe the emotional distress symptoms the plaintiff is suffering.


How to Sue My Employer for Stress:

The first thing to do if seems like an employee is suffering from emotional distress is to document the actions their employer. It could include anything from sexual harassment advances, to employment discrimination, to age discrimination, to unsafe working conditions, to typical job related challenges that a reasonable employee would be unable to complete and are out of the employee’s scope of work.

After the documentation shows the employer’s actions are pervasive and intentionally inflicted and/or have a negligent infliction, the employee can then begin the process of suing their employer for emotional distress. Visiting a medical professional to evaluate the mental health implications from the emotional distress is a good idea so the employee can obtain more evidence as to how they were affected.

Finally, the last step if an employee wants to sue their employer for emotional distress is for them to visit an employment lawyer. Law firms like Lawyers for Justice, PC (LFJ) help employees who have experienced stress on the job. The employment attorneys at LFJ have been helping with emotional distress claims in California for over ten years. Best of all, the firm offers a free consultation; victims of emotional distress do not have to pay any up-front fees to retain legal representation.


Can I Sue For Workplace Retaliation – FAQ

can i sue for workplace retaliation? Employees, former employees, or job applicants who have suffered workplace retaliation or discrimination can file a retaliation complaint with the State of California’s Department of Industrial Relations. The Labor Commissioner’s Office maintains a list of California laws that prohibit retaliation, discrimination, and pay inequity. However, an employment lawyer will be able to advise on each specific workplace retaliation issue and suggest the best course of action for their client.

how to handle retaliation in the workplace? If an employees feels that they are being retaliated against and are experiencing employment discrimination, they should report the retaliatory conduct to their Human Resources Department so there is a record of the complaint. If the retaliation ensues, contact an employment law attorney.

Is retaliation illegal in the workplace? Yes. Under Labor Code section 6310, California law prohibits an employer from retaliating against their employee who complains about safety, certain practices, or health conditions in the workplace.

what should I do if I suspect retaliation but I’m not sure? If you suspect retaliation but are unsure how to proceed, it’s crucial to document any incidents or actions that you believe constitute retaliation. Keep a record of dates, times, and details of the retaliation you’ve experienced or witnessed. Consider discussing your concerns with a trusted colleague or contacting an employment law attorney for advice on how to protect your rights and navigate the situation effectively.


Attorney advertisement by Edwin Aiwazian of Lawyers For Justice, PC, headquartered at 410 Arden Avenue, Glendale, CA 91203