Emotional distress is a type of damage that is intended to compensate you for the harm you suffered as a result of your employer’s action or inaction. Direct medical evidence is not necessary; however, you must support your claim with “competent evidence of genuine injury.” This can be done through your testimony as long as you offer specific facts as to the nature of the emotional distress and the causal connection to the employer’s conduct.
The amount of evidence that you’ll need is directly correlated to the amount of money you seek for emotional distress damages. One federal court found that the plaintiff’s own testimony alone was insufficient to support an award of $300,000 for emotional distress. When attempting to put a dollar amount on your emotional distress damages, you should research the awards received by plaintiffs in similar cases in terms of the employer’s conduct, the losses suffered, and the quality of evidence presented to support the alleged damages.
In Part 4 of this series, we’ll conclude with an examination of punitive damages and attorney’s fees.