By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Anyone who has been fired has faced emotional distress. But when can you sue for emotional distress?
A British woman quit her job after facing a barrage of insults by her former employer, including being called “Crazy Miss Cokehead”,“Miss Bonkers” and “Miss Dodgy Septum”.
Those British. They sure can seem cerebral, even when they’re being really big jerks.
The British woman proved that all of the taunting had the effect of harming her mental state. She won over $3 million in the lawsuit she filed for harassment.
But, in case you daft Americans think you’ll be crazy like a fox too, by winning a claim for emotional distress against your boss, you need to know that in the US, it’s really hard to win a case for intentional infliction of emotional distress against your employer.
You have to show that your boss actually intended to cause you distress, acted not just insultingly but outrageously and that you suffered extreme emotional distress as a result of the conduct.
The fact is that no job and no termination from that job comes with emotional tranquility, so the law intervenes only where the distress inflicted is so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.
You are, as the British would say, expected for the most part to keep a stiff upper lip. And remember that if you can’t stand that meanie of a boss you do have recourse – quit and find a place where they treat you like a queen.