Employee acts as own lawyer? You’ll need to be patient

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When so-called pro se litigants represent themselves before the EEOC and in federal court, you’ll need patience. It will pay off in the long run.

Just because a former employee acts as his own attorney doesn’t mean you can take the case lightly.

Recent case: When Ngando lost his wastewater treatment job, he filed an EEOC complaint alleging discrimination and retaliation. The court patiently addressed each of Ngando’s claims. It allowed multiple complaint amendments as it struggled to understand his claims.

Then it dismissed the vast majority of the allegations, and gave him more time to clarify a few factual statements. (Theodore v. City of Char­­lotte, No. 3:12-CV-00809, WD NC, 2013)

Final note: Never ignore such a complaint. The employee could wind up winning by default.

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