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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11289
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work as a cook in an elementary school. I made a comment

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I work as a cook in an elementary school. I made a comment to my manager that sometimes I feel like I want to just give up and die. Reason being as a single mother having to pay what i can afford to live in less than desirable conditions, working at times over 50hrs a week, ect. This being said, the comment I made first thing in the morning, 5 hrs later at the end of my shift the school principle asked me to come to her office because she was concerned. The school psychologist was there to talk with me, and I assured her that I would not hurt myself. She seemed to agree, and then when I trued to leave, I was intercepted by the schools police officer and was told at that time I could not leave because I needed to go to the local hospital, via ambulance or her police car. By which time I became angry because I had no rights at that time. The hospital psychiatrist even told me that she did not understand why they did what they did. I am now am having severe anxiety about returning to work. Do you think that I would have a case??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. I am very sorry you were treated this way. However, I'm afraid to say that these facts would not typically give rise to any legal cause of action against your employer.
All lawsuits at their core are premised on a breach of legal duty to the plaintiff and that breach causing the plaintiff to sustain damages. Here, there was no legal breach of duty. Your employer was reacting to comments which they rightly or wrongly perceived as suggesting you would engage in self harm. Your employer did not have a duty to not respond--that contradictory position is what you would be forced to assume if you were to sue your employer. Essentially, you'd be arguingt that your employer had a duty to "not protect" you and that they breached that duty by trying to help you. Moreover, you would have to prove that your employer's breach of duty caused you to sustain harm for which a jury should award monetary compensation. It is notoriously difficult to get juries to award damages against school district, both because schools are sympathetic defendants and because juries know that those awards are paid for with their own tax dollars. Trying to collect for harm that resulted from your employer trying to help you--however misguided they were--is very unlikely to result in a favorable damages award for these reasons.
In short, while I am very sorry to hear about how you were treated and can appreciate why it would be quite frustrating, nothing you describe gives rise to any legal claims again your employer. I wish I could provide better news, but I trust you will appreciate an honest answer to your question.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.