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Courts impatient with workers who act as their own lawyers

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees who can’t find an attorney to represent them when they sue their employers sometimes decide to represent themselves. This makes for more work for the courts.

But judges are beginning to lose pa­­tience.

Recent case: Robin McIntyre thought race bias was the reason he was fired from his municipal job for “improperly maintained secondary employment.” He filed a federal lawsuit contesting his discharge.

He wound up having to represent himself, perhaps because he had clearly missed the 300-day deadline for filing a state discrimination agency complaint. He argued that he deserved an extension because it took him a while to figure out that he had been discriminated against.

The court dismissed his case. (McIntyre v. City of Wilmington, No. 11-1444, 3rd Cir., 2011)

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