Believe it or not, federal courts don’t want to micromanage every aspect of your HR function. When faced with serious claims such as discrimination, courts ask employees to prove they suffered an “adverse employment action”—major damage such as a demotion, a cut in pay or discharge.
They don’t tend to sweat the small stuff, such as lousy. Without more than a “needs improvement” rating to show bias, your annual review process won’t lead to losing a discrimination claim.
Recent case: Shereca Anderson and several other black co-workers sued UPS for race discrimination. Their main complaint was that UPS managers allegedly had given them lowbecause they were black.
UPS asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that areview alone wasn’t an adverse employment action.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. Before a poorcan serve as the basis for a race discrimination lawsuit, that review must be linked directly to something like denial of a lateral transfer, promotion or pay raise.
If the appraisal is one of many factors considered, then it alone can’t be used to file suit. Essentially, any lawsuit relying solely on a lowis premature—employees have to wait until something truly adverse happens. (Anderson, et al., v. United Parcel Service, No. 07-10863, 11th Cir., 2007)
Final note: If you are having difficulty with an employee’s performance and want to document those problems, performance reviews are a good opportunity to do so. They won’t lead to a lawsuit, but can help you create a paper trail showing your legitimate concerns and the efforts you took to correct them.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3663/more-than-low-rating-required-to-win-discrimination-suit "
- One-Time pay penalty can't be challenged years later
- Tardiness Can Count as 'Misconduct' That Bars UI Benefits
- Erratic attendance can disqualify employee from ADA protection
- Break in employment may cut hostile environment liability
- Stop frivolous claims with solid hiring, promotion processes consistently applied