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What are the two types of emotional distress in the workplace?

Published on Oct 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm in Firm News.

When Pennsylvania workers consider workers’ compensation laws and if they can sue their employer, they often think only of physical injuries. There are also times when you may deal with obnoxious or predatory behavior from a boss or co-worker, and someone does not take your complaints as seriously as they should. At this point, depression and anxiety can set in and you may have trouble sleeping or develop any number of other mental problems. You may even consider suing your employer for emotional distress. 

According to FindLaw, this can be a very complex area of the law. You may recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit if you are distressed because of the intentional or negligent acts of another individual. The law identifies two types of emotional distress. 

The first is negligent infliction of emotional distress. To be successful in a claim such as this, you must have suffered serious emotional distress because a person engaged in a willful violation or negligent conduct of a statutory duty. This behavior must be what caused your emotional distress for your case to be considered valid. One example of this is if you were almost crushed by a piece of equipment that was not maintained properly or you saw this almost happen to another person. 

Another type of emotional distress is the intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is when an employer or an agent of the employer was outrageous or extreme, acted recklessly or intentionally and caused you extreme mental distress. Some emotions you may face in these situations include embarrassment, fright and shame, although it is often difficult to prove these claims because there is a lack of clear guidelines when it comes to outrageous or extreme conduct. 

Because these situations can be tricky and complex, it is often a good idea to consult a workers’ compensation attorney. They can help you determine if you have a claim and work toward obtaining compensation for your distress. 

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice. 

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