Even if it’s all in their heads, some employees think their co-workers and supervisors are out to get them. If they’re unable to find an attorney willing to take the case, they’ll often file the lawsuit themselves, asking the court to find and pay for an attorney.
Fortunately, fewer and fewer judges are granting those requests.
Recent case: Barbara Quering sued her employer over alleged sexual harassment she said had been perpetuated by a group of 21 co-workers. She said ignored the problem. Her charges weren’t terribly specific, and she asked for a court-appointed lawyer.
The judge denied her request, saying she had to amend her complaint with specifics or he would dismiss the lawsuit. (Quering v. Bank of Florida, No. 2:08-CV-627, MD FL, 2009)
Final note: Don’t be tempted to handle such lawsuits without counsel, too. A good lawyer can hasten dismissal.
- Stay ahead of EEOC complaint calendar by documenting when employee learns he'll lose job
- Don't ban employees from discussing a co-worker's health
- Consider telework's impact on in-Office employees
- Co-worker complaints not enough to establish accommodation hardship
- Termination after maternity leave may violate the FMLA