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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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