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Suing for Emotional Distress at Work

If a co-worker’s outrageous or negligent conduct is causing you to experience emotional distress, you might be able to file a claim to recover damages in some cases. However, it is important for you to understand what types of emotional distress are legally recognized before you file a claim. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler can help you to understand whether you have a winnable claim and can help you to decide whether you want to pursue it.

Emotional distress claims

Under the law, emotional distress can be inflicted either by negligent or intentional acts. The difference between the two forms is the responsible person’s state of mind. To prove negligent infliction of emotional distress, you will need to prove the following:

  • The defendant’s conduct was negligent or a violation of a statutory obligation;
  • You suffered serious emotional distress, and;
  • The defendant’s conduct caused your emotional distress.

People owe legal duties to others to reasonably try to avoid causing another person to experience emotional distress. This type of claim can be filed by both the person who suffered harm by the defendant’s negligence as well as certain types of bystanders who were witnesses but who did not suffer physical harm. In most cases, bystanders will be able to file claims if the person who suffered harm from the negligent action is their close relative.

Schedule an appointment today. Call (856) 685-7420 or

Schedule an appointment today.
Call (856) 685-7420 or

To prove intentional infliction of emotional distress, you will need to prove the following:

  • The defendant acted recklessly or intentionally;
  • The defendant’s actions were extreme and outrageous;
  • The defendant’s actions caused you emotional distress; andYour emotional distress was severe.

Proving a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress can be difficult because it is unclear what is considered to be outrageous and extreme conduct. However, the conduct must be more than annoyances, threats, or insults.

Lawsuits against employers for the actions of their employees

Employers may be liable for their employees’ actions when the actions were within the scope and course of their jobs or when the employers allowed the employees to engage in the conduct. To prove that an employer is liable for an employee’s conduct in an emotional distress claim, you will need to prove the following:

  • The employer actually knew about the defendant’s action;
  • The employer knew that the employee’s action was harmful; and
  • The employer failed to take steps to remedy the issue.

In claims involving the workplace, emotional distress claims are commonly alleged together with other harmful actions such as discrimination or sexual harassment.

Emotional distress damages

The potential damages that might be available in emotional distress claims will depend on the facts and seriousness of the emotional distress. The jury determines this if the case goes to trial. The factors that the jury members consider include how outrageous the defendants’ conduct was, the degree of harm that was suffered and whether the distress is ongoing.

Contact the attorneys at Swartz Swidler

Emotional distress claims can be difficult to prove. Even though this injury is not visible, it can cause lasting harm. If you have suffered emotional distress because of the actions of a co-worker, talking to an experienced employment lawyer is important. Call Swartz Swidler today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact one of our attorneys. For more information check out the FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is contact one of our attorneys. For more information on a just a few scenarios checkout the flip box FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page.

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733