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Can I Sue My California Employer for Stress and Emotional Distress?

Emotional-Distress | PS

When people are at work, a lot of them experience feelings of stress and anxiety. The worker may eventually reach a point where they are Emotional Distress or depressed as a result of all the stress and anxiety that has built up over time. In the worst-case scenario, the individual might start having suicidal thoughts or become dependent on substances like alcohol or drugs.

There are plenty of people in the same boat as you who experience stress due to their jobs. Eighty percent of workers report feeling stressed at work, and twenty-five percent say that their job is the primary source of stress in their lives. These findings come from a survey conducted by the American Institute of Stress.

Can You Sue Your Employer for Job Stress and Emotional Distress at Work?

If you believe that your employer is to blame for causing emotional distress, you may have the right to sue your employer for the stress you experience at work and its negative effects on your life. Talk to an workers’ compensation law attorney in California to learn about your rights and options in this situation.

Types of Emotional Distress

The stress and anxiety experienced at work frequently result in Distress by emotion. There are two categories of mental anguish that are recognized by the legal system.

  1. Negligently inflicted Distress by emotion
  2. Intentionally inflicted Distress by emotion

You have the right to file a claim against your employer or coworker(s) in order to demonstrate evidence that they were negligent if you were the victim of negligently inflicted Distress by emotion at work. You will also be required to provide evidence that, as a direct result of their carelessness, you experienced mental anguish.

If your case involves the deliberate infliction of Distress by emotion, you are also required to demonstrate that your employer or coworker(s) behaved intentionally, knowingly, or outrageously.

How to Sue Your Employer for Emotional Distress?

If you have suffered emotional distress as a result of the stress of your job or because your employer or coworkers acted negligently or intentionally, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them in order to seek compensation for the damages you have sustained.

If a coworker is responsible for causing you emotional distress, the employer may be held responsible if the coworker’s behavior arose out of and during employment. In fact, the employer may be held responsible for your emotional distress. Consider the scenario in which your employer instructs one of your coworkers to review security footage in order to determine who is stealing items from the workplace. That employee then falsely accuses you of theft, causing you to experience a great deal of emotional distress. If this is the case, then the employee and the employer might be held liable for the emotional distress you experienced and any resulting damages.

In order to establish that your employer is responsible for your emotional distress, the following elements need to be proven:

  1. The employer either knew the harmful behavior that caused emotional distress.
  2. The employer was aware that the behavior was unacceptable or potentially hazardous.
  3. The employer did not take any reasonable measures to stop the behavior or correct the situation.

Emotional distress is frequently the result of illegal activities on the part of employers, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, or other inappropriate conduct. If this is the case, you may be able to recover damages for Distress by emotion by filing a claim against your employer for discrimination, sexual harassment, or another type of unlawful behavior. Additionally, stress can be brought on by the invasion of one’s privacy.


If you believe that your employer caused you emotional distress or you feel too much stress or anxiety at work, consult with our workers’ compensation lawyers at Pistiolas Law Firm to determine whether you can sue your employer. To learn more about your rights, contact us at ((844)-414-1768) or visit Pistiolas Law today.

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