Can I sue my employer for negligent infliction of emotional distress?

Earlier this year, I discovered that my boss and an employee that I manage (best friends and neighbors) are committing embezzlement from the company that we work for. In addition, the best friend has a title and pay that should belong to another employee. My boss gives the best friend an additional 30-40 hours per week on her paycheck, however, she is an employee that works 20 hours per week. I informed HR of this illegal activity and potential EEOC claim 4 months ago. To date HR has done nothing. Everyday I feel like I’m waiting for “something” to happen. I have anxiety when it is time for work and have been to the doctor several times for record high blood pressure.

Asked on July 27, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not sue your employer for this: the law does not make person 1 responsible for  the emotional reaction (and any associated physical symptoms) of person 2, unless circumstances like the below exist:

1) Person 1 has engaged  in deliberate or intentional conduct aimed at causing emotional distress, such as stalking, harassment, etc.

2) Person 1 killed an immediate family member of person 2 in person 2's physical proximity.

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