Employees in California and throughout the country may be entitled to be compensated for the emotional distress they experience in a workplace discrimination case. However, this may not be the case if a person experienced unintentional discrimination or was terminated for reasons that were both legal and discriminatory. Those who claim that their employers violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act may be limited to $300,000 in emotional distress damages.

There are two ways that a person might prove that he or she experienced mental distress because of an employer’s actions. Individuals who are seeking significant awards may need to have a doctor or other medical professional testify on their behalf at trial. A medical professional may verify that a person has depression, an eating disorder or other health problems that were caused by incidents that occurred on the job.

Alternatively, individuals can have friends or family members detail the specific impact that workplace discrimination had on their lives. While plaintiffs themselves may opt to testify on their own behalf, doing so is not a requirement for obtaining emotional distress damages. Those who seek compensation for mental distress should know that their employers may obtain access to their medical records. An employer may attempt to use aspects of a person’s medical history to show that his or her depression or other ailments were not caused by workplace actions.

Employers who terminate, demote or fail to promote workers based on their gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs may be engaging in workplace discrimination. People who believe they were treated unfairly by a colleague, manager or client may wish to file an EEOC complaint or file a lawsuit. An attorney may help an individual pursue compensation for lost wages, emotional distress or other damages.