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Poor review alone isn’t grounds for lawsuit

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment

Good news for bosses who get nervous when required to give poor performance evaluations: A negative performance review alone isn’t grounds for a lawsuit.

It’s only if the review becomes the basis for discharge, demotion or a denied promotion that employees can take the matter to court.

Recent case: Elias complained he was singled out and retaliated against for complaining about discrimination based on his Native Ameri­­can origin. His evidence: a poor review he re­­ceived after he had complained.

Elias was later fired for reasons unrelated to the review. He sued, arguing that the review itself was proof of discrimination.

The court disagreed. It said that re­­views alone don’t amount to ad­­verse employment actions. (Mur­­dock v. LA Fitness, No. 12-975, DC MN, 2013)

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