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How Does Suing For Emotional Distress Work?


Our work environments can have a big impact on our lives, especially when our experiences are negative. Experiencing any type of discrimination at work can take a huge toll on an employee. This affects your ability to do your job well and can make you feel unsafe while you’re at work and affect your mental health. But can you sue your employer for emotional distress?

The answer is yes. In fact, one type of compensation you can receive in an employment discrimination case is emotional distress. But then, you might wonder how to sue an employer for emotional distress.

If you’re experiencing discrimination at work and have suffered emotional distress due to it, Brown Kwon & Lam can help you get the compensation you deserve. But before suing your employer, you should first understand what constitutes emotional distress.

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress refers to the mental anguish you experience due to various negative stimuli. In this case, it would be caused by being discriminated against. When you sue your employer for mental distress, you can receive compensation on top of other damages you experienced, such as lost benefits.

But compensation can be harder to collect than economic damages, such as the damages you experienced losing your job due to discrimination. Proving that this has occurred can also be complicated, which is why you need an experienced employment discrimination lawyer who can help you receive the appropriate amount of compensation.

You wouldn’t have experienced this had the discrimination not occurred, and you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. So, when suing an employer for emotional distress, consult a skilled, professional, and experienced employment discrimination lawyer immediately.

What Are the Symptoms?

Emotional distress symptoms are many, and not everyone will experience symptoms in the same way. In addition to emotional stress that can affect your mental health, it can also take on physical symptoms. Some symptoms include:

Anxiety and Nervousness

Anxiety can prevent you from doing things you love. It affects your mental well-being. Both can lead to problems like headaches and trouble concentrating, among other things.

Anger and Irritability

Anger and irritability also affect your routine and cause unnecessary stress in your relationships. You might have a tough time dealing with your personal or professional responsibilities.

Changes in Mood and Personality

Changes in mood and personality will affect your relationships too. It can force a happy and hearty person to become downtrodden. Moreover, a sudden change in your mood and personality is often a sign of a serious mental condition.

Changes in Appetite

Mental distress causes anxiety, which affects your digestive tract and stomach. It alters your appetite. While some people may lose appetite, others have an increased appetite. Either way, your body will not receive the healthy dose of nutrition it needs.


Depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. When left untreated, depression can cost you your relationships, work, and even your life. You must seek medical help immediately if you feel depressed at or after work.


Depression can lead to daytime fatigue. You may not feel like working anymore. This usually happens because stress affects your sleep and appetite.


Emotional distress can also lead to sleeplessness or insomnia. It is a common sleep disorder. Unfortunately, insomnia also leads to health problems like diabetes, hypertension, and weight gain.

If you see any symptoms, you should get medical attention first. Your mental health is more important than anything else. That’s why consulting a doctor would be your priority. However, the next step would be to sue for the emotional distress if employment discrimination caused it.

Can You Sue Your Employer for Emotional Distress?

You can hold your employer legally responsible for conduct that causes you emotional distress. This includes distress caused by discrimination.

Before suing an employer for emotional distress, you may need to report it to your boss or senior management. If your boss fails to take action, you can go to court to seek justice. In most cases, the courts may side with you because you faced discrimination and your employer took no action.

Most employees have no idea how to sue the employer for emotional distress. It’s a complicated process. So, you are going to need legal help when doing so.

How to Sue Your Employer

If you believe you need to sue for emotional distress due to employment discrimination, here are a few actions you need to take.

Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Taking legal action for employment discrimination can feel overwhelming. If you want to receive compensation, you can’t do this on your own. It’s important that you contact an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as you can.

An experienced lawyer will understand what you need to do to receive compensation, in addition to other damages, and get justice.

Have Documentation When Possible

When you suffer from a physical injury, you’re likely going to receive medical treatment and can prove that you did have an injury. But when suing the employer for emotional distress, you have to prove that your mental health was affected.

Emotional distress is more difficult to prove than a visible injury, but if you’ve been suffering from a mental health condition, such as anxiety, and have required professional treatment, this can be used to prove that you’ve experienced damage. Whatever documentation like this you can provide helps to prove that you’ve suffered.

Keep a Record of Your Experience

The documentation from a mental health professional is extremely helpful if you want to sue the employer for mental distress. But it isn’t always possible to get. However, this doesn’t mean there’s no way for you to prove that you’ve experienced emotional distress. When you believe you’ve been discriminated against at work, you need to keep a record of your experiences. You can use this to show what you’ve experienced in your workplace and the effect that it’s had on you and your well-being.

Contact the Attorneys at Brown Kwon & Lam for Help

Emotional distress at work can wreak havoc on your personal and professional life. It can break relationships, destroy careers, and much worse. The good news is you can sue your employer if you are suffering from work-related emotional distress. And this post will help you understand everything, ranging from what emotional distress is to how to sue your employer when it happens.

Talk to our employment lawyers if you need legal help suing your employer for work-related emotional distress. Call (212) 295-5828 or fill out our online contact form.