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Employee represents himself? Take the suit seriously

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

These days, few attorneys accept cases they know they can’t win. That means more employees are acting as their own lawyers. Don’t make a classic employer mistake: Ignoring a pro se lawsuit in which the employee represents himself. Instead, practice patience and diligence in pushing for the court to dismiss the case.

Recent case: Omar, who speaks limited English, worked for a parking garage. He sued, alleging that he was not being paid appropriately. Apparently unable to secure counsel, he acted as his own attorney.

He ultimately found his case dismissed after the employer’s attorneys discovered he had waited more than 90 days to file his lawsuit after the EEOC dismissed his case. (Lizarraga v. Central Parking, No. 13 Civ. 4703, SD NY, 2014)

Final note: Most pro se cases end up dismissed on technicalities like missing EEOC or federal court deadlines.

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