Emotional Distress Damages in Employment Discrimination Cases

In the U.S., any form of employment discrimination is prohibited. If an employee suffers employee discrimination, they can recover damages. The most obvious form of damage in employment discrimination cases, especially those involving wrongful termination, is lost pay. But employees can also sue for emotional distress damages, which may include;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Strained relationships with family and friends
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anger
  • Reputational harm

Generally, emotional distress lawsuits allow employees who have suffered discrimination or retaliation to recover monetary damages for the pain and suffering caused by the unlawful conduct.

Types of employment cases that often attract an award of emotional distress damages include, among others, the following;

  • Sexual harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Promotion denial
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful termination

Proving Emotional Distress Damages

For an employee to recover emotional distress damages, they must prove that workplace discrimination or retaliation caused them emotional harm. Generally, there must be a direct link between your emotional distress and the unlawful conduct you experienced in the workplace.

So, what evidence can help you prove emotional distress damages? Firstly, as the employee who suffered the discrimination, you can testify about how sexual harassment, retaliation, promotion denial, wrongful termination, or another form of workplace discrimination has caused you emotional distress. You can help the jury understand how you have changed ever since the discrimination occurred through your testimony. Because of this, it is crucial to preserve as much evidence as possible of emotional harm suffered. For example, you can keep proof in the form of a journal. Secondly, your family members and friends can testify on how they were affected by the claims emotionally. Lastly, a professional can testify about the emotional harm you have suffered because of the discrimination or provide documents. Some of the professionals who can help prove emotional distress damages include;

  • Expert witnesses
  • Treating psychologists or psychiatrists
  • Counselors

It is crucial to note that the more emotional distress damages an employee is seeking, the stronger the evidence needs to be.

Usually, when determining if emotional distress damages should be awarded and what amount is warranted, a jury will consider, among others, the following;

  • The severity of the emotional harm
  • The duration of the emotional harm
  • The severity of the discrimination
  • The duration of the discrimination
  • Whether an employee sought professional treatment for the emotional harm

Contact Our Office for a Free Case Evaluation

If you have suffered workplace discrimination, please feel free to contact the Trabosh Law Firm for a free case evaluation.