Q. We have a supervisor who does annual review meetings with his employees, but doesn’t give them a printed copy. He told our HR department that he keeps the reviews at home and doesn’t want to give us copies. Must we retain copies in our official employee file? — A.R., Minnesota
A. You’re not legally required to provide employees with paper copies of their reviews, but it’s a good idea to do so. Copies of the evaluations should also go into the employees’ personnel files.
In many states (check your state’s laws), employees have the right to inspect and/or copy the contents of their personnel files. So, in those states, employees would have access to their evaluations anyway.
Finally, giving printed reviews to employees serves an important legal purpose: It officially notifies employees of any performance issues. That gives the employees opportunities to improve. Plus, if an employee ever sues, documenting those problems provides helpful evidence to show that performance issues were communicated to him or her.
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