Can I Sue My Boss for Emotional Distress

Can I Sue My Boss for Emotional Distress in Small Claims Court?

Our society demands that employers make every attempt to provide their employees with a safe work environment that is free from physical and emotional danger. That means creating a corporate culture that precludes both workplace harassment and discriminatory behavior. If you’re asking yourself, “?” your employer has likely failed to do so.

While the vast majority of businesses nationwide hold safety — especially safety from discriminatory behavior — in the highest regard, not every workplace is free from unacceptable and potentially illegal behavior. If you and your co-workers have experienced emotional hardship or distress as a result of workplace harassment or discrimination, you may be able to take legal recourse via small claims court. The most logical question to ask is, "Can I sue my boss for emotional distress?" The answer depends on the details of your case.

DoNotPay, an AI-driven platform that helps you effortlessly prepare your case for small claims court, was created with cases like this in mind. Below, we've compiled everything you need to know about suing your boss.

Meeting the Legal Standard for Workplace Harassment

Before initiating your lawsuit, it is essential to make sure that you understand the factors which cause an incident to rise to the level of workplace harassment in the first place. For your boss's actions to be considered harassment, emotional distress, or discrimination, the incident(s) in question must include two distinct elements:

  1. Severe actions, words, or behaviors that impact the terms of your employment
  2. Detrimental behavior that is based on a protected aspect such as race, gender, or disability

If the particulars of your case do not meet the aforementioned criteria, you'll potentially be wasting your time, money, and effort on fighting a failed emotional distress case in small claims court. In short, the answer to the question, "Can I sue my boss for emotional distress?" depends upon the individual case.

When Should You File a Lawsuit Against Your Boss for Emotional Distress?

What kind of workplace behaviors satisfy the elements from the list above? What is the legal definition of detrimental words, actions, or behaviors that might affect the terms of your employment? Below we've compiled an inclusive list of discriminatory behaviors.

Meeting the protected status requirement when suing your boss for emotional distressAccording to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), illegal workplace harassment includes unwelcome conduct that is based on your:
  • Age, if you are 40 or older
  • Any disability
  • Color
  • Gender identity
  • Genetic information such as your family medical history
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
Potential reasons to sue your boss for emotional distressGiven the set of criteria discussed above, what are some valid reasons for suing your boss for emotional distress?
  • Your boss has broken a contractual obligation such as rate of pay or duration of work.
  • Your boss has violated employment protections such as race, sex, disability, or religion.
  • Your boss's behavior constitutes reckless or purposefully dangerous behavior.³

Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Boss for Emotional Distress by Yourself

Filing a lawsuit against your boss for emotional distress without a lawyer is possible, but it takes extra effort to achieve a positive result.

  • Before you file a lawsuit, consider drafting and sending a formal demand letter first.
  • Gather all of the evidence you have to back up your claim.
  • Visit your local clerk of court office to obtain and file the correct paperwork.
  • Follow your jurisdiction's requirements for serving court papers on an individual.
  • Prepare for your upcoming court date.

The Dangers of Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself

Filing a small claims court lawsuit by yourself takes a lot of time and effort. You may need to take time off of work to go to the clerk of court office. You may also have filing deadlines to meet in order for your case to proceed. The DoNotPay platform makes it easy to sue someone in small claims court.

How to Sue Your Boss for Emotional Distress With DoNotPay

In just a few steps, you can sue anyone with DoNotPay. DoNotPay has helped customers sue insurance companies, airlines, and many other business entities like Verizon, Uber, and AT&T. Follow these steps:

  • From any web browser, log in to , and select the Sue Now product.
  • Enter the dollar amount that you are owed.
  • Choose whether you want a demand letter or court filing form.
  • Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof.

It's that easy! DoNotPay will then generate either the demand letter or the court filing forms for you. You even save a trip to the post office because we mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual or business you are suing. The DoNotPay platform makes it easy to initiate a small claims case against anyone necessary.

Want your issue solved now?