You and the supervisors at your organization have read horror stories of negative performance reviews spawning lawsuits from disgruntled employees. As a result, some supervisors may shy away from rating someone lower than his or her colleagues.
That fear is one main reason too many reviews are positive even if performance is average or poor.
The better thing to do is to urge your supervisors to “get real” with reviews. Reason: Honest appraisals are crucial to a productive workplace.
Job reviews shouldn't be paper-pushing programs that return zero value. The fact is, great performance reviews are essential to create great organizations. Re-energize your performance review process with this exciting new CD. The Manager's Guide to Effective Performance Reviews
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 performance review alone isn’t enough for an employee to win a discrimination lawsuit, even if the review is somehow proven unfair or flawed.
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.
Master the 11 steps every supervisor should take to complete the review process in a legal and effective manner
Recent case: Lindy Watkins worked for the Department of the Treasury. She sued when she receive 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 or sex discrimination was the true reason for the review downgrade. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out her case.
The court 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)
In The Manager's Guide to Effective Performance Reviews, you'll learn:
- The top 5 factors of a first-rate evaluation.
- Whether you should require that employees sign their reviews.
- The 4 steps to prepare for appraisal discussions.
- Ways to minimize the chances of legal troubles during reviews.
- Guidelines for writing reviews that grab employees' attention and improve performance right away.
- Rockford firm settles race bias suit for $630,000
- After employee has complained, be prepared to defend even minor work changes
- Emotional distress claims are workers' comp issues
- How to respond to an EEOC complaint: 10 steps to success
- Here's more reason to stick to the facts when providing employee references