Performance Reviews

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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The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for their own “serious health condition,” care of a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition, or for childbirth or adoption.The U.S. Labor Department recently collected 15,000 public comments about the pros and cons of the law. The department may use those comments to help develop regulations that clarify the confusing parts of the law, but no regulations are imminent ...

If you have long-term employees whose performances are deteriorating, step carefully. Their long histories with the company could mean you’ll have a hard time justifying terminations even in light of poor performances. Instead of jumping the gun and firing immediately, take your time. In fact, it may be a good idea to allow more than one supervisor to witness each declining employee performance up close ...

The sooner you resolve lawsuits, the better. That’s why it’s important to anticipate problems and plan for them. Take, for example, employee records. If you can easily produce statistical information on the race, sex, age or other protected characteristics of your employees, you often can persuade an attorney fishing for a lawsuit that the waters are empty.

Why bother to wordsmith and labor over every word in your employment policies? Because sometimes an employer’s own pen can create liability. That was the case recently for an Illinois employer that will now go on trial for allegedly violating federal and state wage laws. Exhibit A on the list of evidence against the company: its employment policy handbook ...

Performance appraisals are valuable tools to help put struggling employees back on track. But a low rating also can spur poor performers to consider legal action: Many discrimination suits have been launched on the wings of a poor performance appraisal. Fortunately, employers with solid appraisal systems usually have built-in defenses against such charges ...

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 performance appraisals ...

Everybody knows the workplace is supposed to be free of all forms of harassment. Everybody also realizes that’s the platonic ideal. The good news is that, with vigilance, you’ll protect your organization from sexual-harassment lawsuits because any harassment that surfaces won’t be pervasive and severe ...

Sometimes employees who are in trouble for poor performance try to protect themselves by reporting incidents that don’t come close to being sexual harassment. They figure that their employer won’t fire or otherwise punish them for fear of a retaliation lawsuit. But you can take heart: It’s not protected activity just because someone reports an incident. If—when viewed objectively—the conduct being reported seems far from harassment, reporting it isn’t protected, and the employee can’t charge retaliation ...

When a supervisor enters into a sexual relationship with a subordinate, chances are things won’t go well for the company. That’s one reason you should put in place strict limits on dating for supervisors and subordinates. You can prohibit such relationships altogether, or insist that anyone contemplating dating a subordinate must notify HR first so he or she can be removed from the supervisory role before the relationship starts. Otherwise, you risk a sexual-harassment lawsuit, especially if the supervisor later punishes the subordinate ...

The EEOC has issued new enforcement guidance concerning disparate treatment of workers with caregiving responsibilities—or “family-responsibility discrimination.” The guidelines are designed to help determine whether a particular employment decision is discriminatory. Family-responsibility discrimination is not a new type of discrimination, but rather an application of the existing discrimination laws to a situation that is drawing increasing attention ...

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