Consult attorney to prep for unemployment comp hearing

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When challenging an unemployment compensation claim, talk to your attorney before the hearing. You don’t want anything you say at the hearing to be used later as evidence against you.

Recent case: Mary Kirby, who is white, got into an argument with Geraldine Gardner, who is black, while both were at work at a J.C. Penney store. Both were fired and both filed for unemployment compensation.

A company representative testified that Gardner was fired for being disruptive. Later, the same representative told the hearing officer that Kirby was fired so Gardner couldn’t sue for race discrimination.

Kirby sued. The court said she can introduce testimony from the company representative (and e-mails she sent to her supervisors) at trial. (Kirby v. J.C. Penney, No. 2:08-CV-1088, WD PA, 2009)

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