If a qualifying incident at work causes you emotional distress, you may become eligible for compensation. Incidents that may qualify include negligence in training, retention, hiring or supervision. In some cases, this may fall under the header of intentional infliction of emotional distress.
According to Cornell Law School, when someone deliberately, outrageously and abominably causes harm to someone else with obvious intent, courts refer to this as IIED. This may include not just actual harm but also the threat of future harm.
How do you determine you are a victim of IIED?
It may prove difficult to make this determination on your own. Courts may also disagree with you, unless you can make a strong defense. Despite efforts to improve the treatment of mental health in the justice system, some judges bring their biases into the courtroom and may dismiss IIED claims unless they are serious and obvious.
In some jurisdictions, a prima facie case may arise from the following factors:
- The employer acted
- The employer executed an outrageous act
- The employer deliberately caused harm with the intention of causing serious emotional distress that adversely impacts the plaintiff’s mental health
- The employer’s actions cause emotional distress
What can harm the case?
Sometimes, employers ask workers to sign away their rights in documents that are too technical for everyday workers to understand. Courts may throw out some contracts they deem illegal or otherwise inappropriate. However, in some cases, providing consent for the employer to act as it did may harm your case.
Industry standards may also pose a threat to the viability of your case. If courts determine the employer acted in a way considered normal or appropriate in the industry, it may not face consequences.