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Developing Fibromyalgia As A Result Of Work Dismissal

Dear Brian

I have been through a terrible experience at work.  Firstly, I was told to resign or I would be sacked, then I was reinstated on a technicality.  I had to go back to a working environment in which my bosses were unpleasant towards me.  Very soon they were looking to find further faults and they blew these up so that I was dismissed for gross misconduct.  Unsurprisingly, I developed Fibromyalgia in the middle of this turbulent time.  The Fibromyalgia may well have ruined my life and career, if my career has not already been ruined by the dismissal.  Do I have a remedy?



Dear Ann

You probably have several remedies.  Some are set out below:-

  1. Unfair dismissal
  2. Constructive dismissal
  3. A claim under the Protection from Harassment Act
  4. A claim for personal injuries for negligence
  5. A claim for personal injuries for the contractual breach of the duty of trust and confidence as between employer and employee.

Ideally, you would need to bring the claims for unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, but you only have three months from the dismissal to do that.  You have more time to bring the claim under the Protection from Harassment Act and you have a full three years to start Court proceedings for personal injury.  You will need a medical report to show that the Fibromyalgia stemmed from the stress of circumstances at work and that it is a serious, ongoing condition.  Your former employers might well argue that you had no career prospects anyway because you were guilty of the gross misconduct.  The proper place to deal with that would be in the Employment Tribunal, but if that cannot be done because of time limits, it may have to be dealt with in the personal injury Court claim.  You are straddling two areas of law here, employment law and personal injury law, and it will need skilled lawyers to negotiate a satisfactory path for you which may involve claims both in the Tribunal and the Courts.


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