Can an Employer Be Sued for Emotional Distress in Ohio?
Work is stressful enough as it is without your superiors intentionally causing you emotional distress through targeted actions. If your employer or managers have taken deliberate action that resulted in you experiencing emotional distress, then you can file an emotional distress lawsuit. However, it is important to note that in the state of Ohio, the classification of a case like this is extremely specific and, as a result, difficult to win.
If you have sufficient proof that some action by the company’s managers triggered profound shame, fear, embarrassment, depression, or post-traumatic stress, then you may very well be entitled to compensation. Contact the Columbus employee rights attorneys at Barkan Meizlish today to find out if you have a case for an emotional distress lawsuit. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.
Grounds for Bringing an Emotional Distress Lawsuit Against an Employer
It is important to note that state laws in Ohio make it nearly impossible for employees to sue their employers after work-related accidents induce emotional distress. That is to say, personal injury lawsuits, which often include emotional distress claims, almost never move forward against employers when the plaintiff is an employee unless the emotional distress is caused by another clearly violated law.
Most claims related to an on-the-job injury or illness must be handled through the workers’ compensation program. A workers’ comp claim can include requests for the coverage of treatment for mental and emotional problems that develop as a result of an injury or illness, but the program will not approve a claim for emotional distress specifically. If you have reason to believe you were targeted by an employer or manager and it led to you experiencing emotional distress, then you need to hire an Ohio emotional distress attorney to take your case.
The types of lawsuits against employers that can include claims for emotional distress usually relate to violations of employment laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and illegal forms of retaliation. For instance, a worker who brings a wrongful termination lawsuit can include a claim for the emotional distress they suffered while unemployed and struggling financially.
Stress itself cannot support either a workers’ comp claim or a lawsuit against an employer. Lawmakers and courts expect all jobs to be stressful and therefore rule out emotional distress claims in and of themselves without an underlying cause that is in violation of another law. An employer can only be sued when its managers deliberately make a position more stressful than it needs to be in order to harm an employee or to compel the employee to quit.
Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?
To succeed in convincing a judge and jury that you suffered emotional distress because of something your employer did, you must present convincing evidence of all the following facts:
- Your employer acted recklessly or with intent,
- The action was illegal or extreme and outrageous,
- The action directly caused your emotional distress, and
- Your emotional distress was severe.
Proving intent in an emotional distress case can be challenging, but documenting complaints about distressing treatment such as harassment or discrimination will significantly help your case when you decide to take action. Partnering with an experienced and understanding employee rights attorney like those at Barkan Meizlish will help you cite which laws were violated and make a case for actions well beyond ordinary teasing or everyday stressors.
You can use medical records, insurance claims, pharmacy bills, and therapists’ notes to demonstrate the connection between the action and your emotional distress. In addition, this information can also be used in determining the severity of the emotional distress caused by your employer.
Finally, to secure a jury award, you must be able to show that your employer knew about the issue that was causing emotional distress and either caused the issue or did nothing to resolve it. Internal records of meetings and emails can be essential forms of proof in this regard and should always be documented for use in your emotional distress lawsuit.
Columbus Emotional Distress Attorney
Here at Barkan Meizlish, LLP, our attorneys specialize in employee rights laws which means we are always on your side. We provide the assistance you deserve and can determine whether or not you have a valid emotional distress case upon your initial consultation, which is always free of charge. Contact the Columbus employee rights attorneys at Barkan Meizlish today to determine if you have a case and to get the compensation you deserve.