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Can I File a Lawsuit Against an Employer for Stress and Anxiety?

Published on Nov 21, 2019 at 6:18 pm in Employment Law.

Not all work environments are relaxing and accommodating. Sometimes, an employer can impart more stress onto their workers than is acceptable. At first, you might think that the expectations causing your stress are normal, but if it’s enough to affect your productivity and health, then it is considered unfair and unlawful. Thankfully, there is something you can do to stand up for yourself about excess stress and anxiety in the workplace.

What Qualifies for a Lawsuit?

Some jobs cause more stress than others. If you are in a high-pressure, high-stakes profession, you’re going to experience stress as part of the job. In that case, you have to consider the expected amount of stress in your job, which you can’t file a suit for. But in other jobs, stress and anxiety is imparted on the employee by the employer through unrealistic expectations.

You can file an employment lawsuit if you experience stress and anxiety that is higher than the regular amount for your job. For example, the minor stress of answering emails in a timely and comprehensive manner is normal and expected. But experiencing stress and anxiety from pressure to answer an unmanageable amount of emails in one day on top of all the other job expectations can be considered unnecessary stress in the workplace.

The West Virginia Human Rights Act protects employees with disabilities from being discriminated upon in the workplace. Disability is defined in the article as “a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities.” This includes the person’s ability to work, so stress and anxiety are included in the list of disabilities. If you expected job tasks cause you extreme stress to the point that it limits your ability to perform, then you could file a lawsuit against your employer.

What Happens if Stress Escalates?

The worst part about added stress in the workplace is how it can affect your health both emotionally and physically. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can physically manifest in the body and worsen a person’s health. Some symptoms of stress and anxiety are:

  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pain, like chest and muscle pains
  • Nausea

On the more severe end, stress can also cause sickness. You could get frequent colds or have a higher chance of developing heart disease from all of the stress. Emotional distress is already tough enough to overcome, but physical illness on top of that can make your healing even harder. The best way for you to be able to focus on recovery is by hiring an employment lawyer to handle the legal side of things for you.

You should be able to exist in a comfortable work environment. When you’re not comfortable, you can’t work as effectively, and so your performance could suffer. When your employer is causing unnecessary stress for you in the workplace that is affecting your harming your ability to work, you could use help from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC. We can help you with your claim so that you can focus on your work. Contact us today so that we can discuss your case in Charleston, WV.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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