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Proving Claims of Emotional Distress in Sexual Harassment Lawsuits


Practical Information for Employment Attorneys


by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Clinical & Forensic Psychologist



Employment lawyers utilize various strategies and evidence to substantiate claims of emotional distress. They diligently gather testimonies from victims and witnesses, meticulously constructing a narrative that vividly depicts the extent and impact of the harassment. Additionally, concrete evidence such as emails, text messages, and photographs can serve as valuable tools in painting a clear picture of the perpetrator's actions and the egregious emotional aftermath endured by the plaintiff.


Attorneys can also use a Forensic Psychological Evaluation to bolster their cases. A combination of clinical and objective empirically based data provides a comprehensive understanding of various aspects, such as the proximate cause of the plaintiff's distress, the severity of their condition, their emotional needs, and prognosis. Presenting this additional evidence not only enhances the credibility of the plaintiff's claims but also establishes a crucial link between the harassment experienced and any resulting emotional and functional impairment.


In sexual harassment cases, employment lawyers assume a critical role in navigating the intricate terrain of emotional distress and functional impairment. The provision of expert psychological evaluations and presentation of compelling evidence serve to substantiate the plaintiff's claims and seek justice for their suffering. Employment lawyers are instrumental in holding perpetrators accountable and creating safer, more supportive work environments for their clients.

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