Q. The mother of a minor employee (age 16) has asked to attend her child’s performance evaluation meeting. Do I have to legally allow the parent to sit in on this session?
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So, your tasked with assessing employee performance and writing performance reviews. Where do you get started?
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If you give somebody a bad grade without explanation, that’s not acceptable, says Laura Yecies, CEO of online storage service SugarSync. Yecies fights the impulse by reading every performance review—not so much to see if she agrees with the assessment but to check whether the manager is being thoughtful.
Most HR professionals assume that a warning letter isn’t an adverse employment action and therefore can’t be the basis for a lawsuit. And that’s largely true. But if the warning letter also mentions restrictions on how well the employee will be rated at evaluation time, there may be trouble.
Employees who lose their jobs have an incentive to sue—and they’ll often look for evidence of discrimination to form the basis of their lawsuits. But to win in court, employees have to show they were meeting their employer’s legitimate expectations. That’s hard to do if the employer can show the employee admitted her shortcomings.
Not every new hire works out. Chances are, you’ll realize early on that you made a hiring mistake. You’ll want to give the employee a chance to improve, but you’ll also want to protect the company in the event of a lawsuit. To do that, provide a detailed and thorough performance review that includes specific examples and suggestions.
With employment litigation rising steadily, the employee handbook has become an essential tool in the employer’s arsenal to defend against liability for employment decisions. A good handbook tells employees what the rules are and how they will be enforced ...