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Cut liability by acting fast following employee complaint

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Under Florida law, employees whose supervisors treat them so outrageously that they suffer emotional damage may have a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. But the conduct has to rise to a level that is truly outrageous.

That’s why taking quick action after the employee first complains can help prevent a minor workplace problem from becoming a legal catastrophe.

Recent case: Barbara Griffin took time after an injury. She claimed that when she returned to work, her supervisor began harassing her by monitoring her movements. She also said he called her after work hours.

She filed a grievance and then sued, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.

But the court rejected her claim, reasoning that the supervisor’s behavior stopped short of outrageousness. (Griffin v. Polk County, No. 8:09-CV-960, MD FL, 2009)

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