Can I sue my previous employer for pain and suffering if the loss of my job caused me depression and anxiety attacks?

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Can I sue my previous employer for pain and suffering if the loss of my job caused me depression and anxiety attacks?

My employer hired me for a new position created to assist one of their employees. It was clear when I stared that they had no plan in place as far as what I was to be trained on. After 3 weeks, the CEO called me in and let me go. My first question for him,

Asked on May 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue for them for pain and suffering for two separate reasons:
1) First and foremost, employment is employment at will; they had the right to fire you when they did, and you can't sue someone for doing what they had the legal right to do.
2) Generally, there is no compensation for emotional pain and suffering of any kind without a physical injury to which it is tied and/or without proof of some kind of intentional campaign of harassment or stalking with the intention of causing mental or emotional harm, and neither condition applies here. (You can see why this is case if you imagine what would happen if you could sue for mental/emotional pain and suffering every time someone did something cruel or unfair to you: there'd be lawsuits after every firing, after non-marital relationships broke up, when a family member or friend who was providing you support or a place to live decides to stop doing so, etc.--there would be no end to litigation.)


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