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Employee representing himself? Take it just as seriously as any other lawsuit

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in HR Management,Human Resources

Some employees end up suing their employers without an attorney’s help. Sometimes, that’s because they couldn’t find anyone willing to represent them because their case doesn’t have merit. But other times, the employee may simply want to go it alone. That doesn’t mean you should follow suit and treat the case lightly. Instead, do what you would in any other lawsuit. Get your attorney involved right away and gather up the evidence.

While it may seem like a slam-dunk case, chances are the court will give the employee several chances to present his best argument.

Recent case: Hoa sued his employer, alleging race and disability discrimination. But he never explained in his complaint what his race was or exactly what type of disability he claimed to have. He merely said that his supervisor yelled at him and once denied him time off for acupuncture treatment.

His employer asked the court to toss out the case. It didn’t. Instead it gave Hoa a list of what he had to prove and told him to amend his complaint. (Doan v. San Ramon Valley School District, No. 13-03866, ND CA, 2014)

Final note: Being sued? First, call your lawyer right away. Then gather up all records, including the employee’s HR file. Contact his supervisor and remind him or her to retain any documents. Call IT to freeze any electronic records like email to prevent deletion. Then meet with your attorney to formulate a game plan.

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