Judge Rejects Emotional Distress Claim

June 22nd, 2012 by JBWK

In an opinion released earlier this month, a federal judge in Alexandria rejected a sweeping set of claims by a terminated employee. After allegedly being fired for reporting his boss’s sexual harassment of other employees, the plaintiff sued for Title VII violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.

Highlighting the narrow scope of employee protections, the judge rejected all the claims. The plaintiff missed the Title VII filing deadline by one day, and failed to claim behavior so outrageous that it rose to the level of intentional infliction of emotional distress. In other words, it takes extremely serious offenses to rise to that level, and significant, verifiable emotional distress. The judge also found that the wrongful termination claim didn’t fit into the narrow scope of permissible wrongful termination claims, and that the employee’s employment was at will and could be terminated at any time.

The ruling highlights the objectively bad facts that still make it difficult to bring an actionable claim.

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