Three’s a crowd: Can an employee bring someone else along to his performance appraisal?

Q. An employee has asked to have his wife present during his performance evaluation. Does he have the right to bring a representative?

A. Nonunion employees aren’t entitled to have anyone (including their lawyer) present during performance discussions or disciplinary meetings. Such representatives can be prohibited from entering the employer’s premises or asked to leave under trespass laws.

Thus, you have no obligation to allow an employee to bring a spouse to a performance evaluation.

Under certain circumstances, an employer may decide to allow an employee’s attorney to be present during a workplace meeting. However, you can prohibit the attorney from interrupting the discussion or counseling with the employee during the meeting. Before allowing a worker’s attorney on site, however, consult your own attorney.

Note that union employees have greater rights. Under federal labor laws, these workers are entitled to union representation during any meeting that they reasonably believe could result in disciplinary action.

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