If an employer has behaved in an outrageous manner and caused you severe emotional distress then you might be the victim of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED). IIED is a state law issue but there do tend to be similar elements across the states. Below is an explanation of the more common elements of IIED.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress is sometimes referred to as the "tort of outrage." In some cases, the circumstances of termination are so cruel, intimidating, and severe that an employee suffers extreme emotional upset. In certain instances, it is unlawful for an employer to deliberately cause an employee serious emotional harm. You might have been treated unlawfully if the employer's conduct toward you was:
The law does not protect against "mere insult." The focus for this kind of claim is on the outrageousness of the conduct and the severity of the emotional distress that results. Being fired on the spot and escorted out of the building by security in front of all of your former co-workers is probably not enough, alone, to constitute intentional infliction of serious emotional distress. Being handcuffed without justification or being subjected to repeated racial slurs, or severe sexual harassment may constitute an "outrage" that can be remedied.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED) occurs when your employer purposely causes severe emotional distress to you as a result of extreme and outrageous conduct. Examples of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claims can include racial insults, sex discrimination, false imprisonment, and conduct that threaten your physical security (a physical injury is not necessary).
No. Termination of employment by itself, even if it is wrong or without cause, is not extreme and outrageous conduct.
To show that IIED occurred in the workplace, you must show all of the following:
No, IIED is a state law issue and so you will have to check the statutes where you work in order to determine exactly what kind of conduct is prohibited within your jurisdiction.
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