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Employee is his own lawyer? Take case seriously, anyway

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

If one of your employees sues you and acts as his own attorney, treat the case just as seriously as you would any other lawsuit.

Courts have to follow through with the legal process, including reviewing the employer’s evidence. The faster you provide that evidence, the faster the case can be tossed out.

Recent case: Ronald Newkirk, who is black, worked as a cook at Hardee’s until he was terminated. He sued, representing himself. Newkirk insisted his supervisors had made fun of him, used racial slurs and cut his hours to favor white employees.

The company took depositions from the key players, including the supervisor and HR, plus co-workers. Newkirk never countered their sworn statements, and the court dismissed his case. (Newkirk v. Hardee’s, No. 11-CV-2093, CD IL, 2012)

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