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Beware of pitfall when employee represents himself

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employees who think they’ve suffered discrimination sometimes have a hard time finding a lawyer to represent them. Then, instead of accepting that maybe they don’t have a case worth pursuing, they file their own suits and try to represent themselves.

Take those cases seriously. Get your attorneys involved right away.

The problem: Judges often give so-called pro se litigants the benefit of the doubt, and you want to be ready to go no matter how the judge rules.

Recent case: John Mishak filed a lawsuit without the help of an attorney, alleging he had been denied FMLA leave.

He didn’t do a very good job drafting the complaint, and the employer asked the court to throw out the case. The court gave Mishak one more chance to rewrite the complaint. (Mishak v. Akron Public Schools, No. 5:09-CV-351, ND OH, 2009)

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