It doesn’t take much to get a lawsuit started. Sometimes a former employee—or perhaps even a total stranger—will walk into the nearest state or federal courthouse and ask to fill out a complaint form. The court is required to accept it and send it on.
Regardless of its apparent merit, respond aggressively to it. If you don’t act, you risk a default judgment.
Recent case: Ralph Lewis, who implied he had once worked for or attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, sued, alleging disability discrimination.
His complaint made no sense and described seemingly random events.
The university pushed to get the case dismissed on a technicality and succeeded. Lewis had never filed an EEOC complaint, a prerequisite to an ADA lawsuit. (Lewis v. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, No. 1:09-CV-724, MD NC, 2010)
- Remind bosses: They may be personally liable for discrimination under N.Y. law
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