It often makes sense to give a fresh start to a poorly performing employee who has been complaining about discrimination. Place her in another position with a new supervisor, new co-workers and a clean disciplinary record. Then if her workplace problems persist, you can terminate her without worrying about retaliation claims.
For most managers, conducting effective performance reviews is the most daunting part of their job. Don’t look on it with dread! Make your performance appraisals work for you, not against you with these tools: performance review examples, tips on writing employee reviews, sample performance reviews and employee evaluation forms.
So, your tasked with assessing employee performance and writing performance reviews. Where do you get started?
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Some employees think they know their jobs better than their supervisors do. They want to decide which parts of their jobs are important and which parts are not. Then, when evaluation time rolls around, they try to show that they achieved their own goals for their jobs—even though management wanted other goals met. Don't let this happen.
Question: “Our appraisal system requires supervisors to schedule quarterly conferences with their employees, but my boss never does. On my annual performance review, he always lists the dates when our conferences should have happened, then asks me to sign it. I have never been comfortable falsifying this information, but I don't know what to do. Should I just suck it up and sign to keep my boss out of trouble? Or should I refuse and risk becoming the target of retaliation?” — Honest Employee
Employees who take FMLA leave or engage in other protected activities sometimes look for signs their employer is illegally punishing them. They interpret every legitimate request for improvement as retaliation. Fortunately, courts are beginning to reject those frivolous claims.
Sometimes, employees think all it takes to keep from being fired is a well-timed complaint alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation. That, they reason, will scare an employer into overlooking poor performance or even criminal behavior. Don’t fall for it.
Some employees are under the mistaken impression that merely asking for FMLA leave means they cannot be fired. That’s simply not true. Employees who take FMLA leave don’t have greater rights than other employees.
Florida employees are protected from retaliation for whistle-blowing, but courts have been limiting what they consider to be blowing the whistle. For example, in one recent case, a court concluded that a co-worker’s attempts to report a fellow pharmacy worker’s lax prescription practices was not whistle-blowing.
One of the worst things you can do after you terminate an employee is change the reason for ending the employment relationship. Instead, decide on a defensible rationale—a performance problem or rule violation, for example, or perhaps a business downturn—and document that decision and all the supporting evidence.
Q. We have an employee who does not work very hard and her production is marginal. If we terminate the employee, will she be able to collect unemployment compensation?
Most of the time, employers can win discrimination cases by showing that the same “actor” hired and fired an employee. Courts generally assume that the employer’s stated reason for discharge is the true reason and not an excuse to cover up discrimination. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can be loose with your discharge reasons.