Watch CBS News

Suing An Employer For Emotional Distress

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Anyone who has been fired has faced emotional distress. But when can you file a claim against your former employer for intentional infliction of emotional distress?

In a case aptly named Justice versus Johnson & Johnson Medical, a former employee sued her employer after numerous allegedly harassing incidents including the time a coworker tried to stuff dollar bills down into her pants in the company's hallway.

One of her claims was for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Winning a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress against an employer is very difficult. You must show that there was extreme or outrageous conduct, that the employer intended to cause you distress, and that you suffered extreme emotional distress as a result of the conduct.

The fact is that no job and no termination from that job comes with emotional tranquility, so the law intervenes only where the distress inflicted is so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it. Unfortunately for Ms. Justice, the only dollars she got were the ones stuffed in her pants - she lost her claim.

If you're looking for Justice, you may not get it with this claim.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.