Your supervisors have probably heard the horror stories of how negative
The better thing to do is to urge your supervisors to “get real” with reviews.
Reason: Honest appraisals are crucial to a productive workplace. Rating everyone as if they were stellar performers undermines any potential need for discipline or discharge down the road—and it stunts productivity.
Also, supervisors need to realize that a negative alone isn’t enough for an employee to win a discrimination lawsuit. As the following case shows, employees can’t use poor reviews as the basis of a winning lawsuit unless they lead to demotion, discharge, lost pay or the loss of something tangible.
Recent case: Lindy Watkins sued when she received a performance review that rated her a 3.0 on a five-point scale for the year. The previous year, Watkins had received a 4.0 score.
Watkins’ lawsuit claimed race discrimination was the true reason for the downgrade. But the court threw out her case. It reasoned that a performance review alone can’t sustain a discrimination case. The review must lead directly to a demotion, loss of pay, termination, lower raise or some other actual employment loss. (Watkins v. Paulsen, No. 08-20408, 5th Cir., 2009)
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