Evaluation for harassment and discrimination claims

Jane Goodman-Delahunty, William E. Foote

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


    Despite acknowledgment that noneconomic damages address 'the primary elements of life' and that 'it turns reality on its head to give transcendence to the pecuniary' (Komesar, 1990, p. 58), the importance of nonpecuniary losses has long been neglected (Abel, 2006). In cases of workplace discrimination where psychological injuries arise, the plaintiff can recover nonpecuniary or compensatory damages. Lawyers, forensic evaluators, and courts who must assess the eligibility of a plaintiff for compensatory damages may be guided by a five-stage model to assess the status of the plaintiff before the alleged harassment, during those events, and following harassment incidents. By examining the complainant's status at these points in time, legal causation can be assessed, and symptoms or problems compensable by the defendant distinguished from those that are a result of other life events. This chapter describes the types of mental and emotional injuries most commonly caused by workplace harassment and discrimination; distinguishes garden variety emotional distress from claims that put a plaintiff's medical condition at issue, and outlines the role of a mental health practitioner in evaluating plaintiffs and testifying about these matters in court.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationForensic Assessments in Criminal and Civil Law
    Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook for Lawyers
    EditorsRonald Roesch, Patricia A Zapf
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages36
    ISBN (Print)9780199766857
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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