Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, RSS, EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInYoutubeRSS News FeedEmail


Importance of Employee Performance Appraisals

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 9/18/2008
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, RSS Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google+ YouTube RSS

Some of my mid-level supervisors have a habit of hastily and inattentively preparing performance appraisals for employees they supervise. Might their carelessness eventually prove harmful if an employee terminated for cause files a discrimination lawsuit against my company?

Yes. Several federal laws make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Under such laws, an aggrieved employee may file a lawsuit to recover potentially significant damages from a former employer, and, in some of these lawsuits, the employee's performance appraisals may be the most significant pieces of evidence supporting his or her case. Supervisors who do not take seriously their responsibility to complete performance appraisals properly may place their employers in jeopardy of either losing a discrimination lawsuit or may increase the difficulty of successfully defending against such a lawsuit. If a supervisor automatically gives all employees average or above-average grades and gives little thought to each employee's actual job performance, then a company's assertion that the employee was in fact terminated for cause may ring hollow with a jury. Similarly, if a supervisor routinely gives other employees below-average grades, then the company would be forced to explain to a jury why these employees were not terminated for the same reason as the plaintiff.

By allowing employers to identify which employees are doing a good job, which employees need to improve, and which employees must be terminated for performance-related reasons, job performance appraisals serve an important purpose in any organization. If a supervisor is considering terminating an employee because of poor performance, then appraisals of the employee's work, or other documentation of his or her inadequate job performance, should reflect the poor quality of the individual's work. When supervisors fail to evaluate employees' work honestly and appropriately, they not only set a bad example and damage employee morale, but they also place their organization in greater jeopardy of losing a discrimination lawsuit.

Add comment

  • Comment
  • Preview

  privacy policy
The Human Equation's newsletters and publications are intended as an information source for the clients and friends of the firm. Their content should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon the information in these publications without professional guidance. Please note that newsletters and publications that are archived by The Human Equation are not updated after initial publication and may not contain the most current information available.

Refer to friendRefer to friend

Permission to ReprintPermission to Reprint

Contact a Subject Matter ExpertContact an Expert

Subscribe to Our NewsletterSubscribe to Our Newsletter


© 2019 - The Human Equation, Inc. All rights reserved. - Privacy Policy - Disclaimer -
Follow us on Facebook.comFollow us on Twitter.comFollow us on Linkedin.comFollow us on YouTube.comSubscribe to our RSS FeedSend us an email
Subscribe to our newsletter
900 South Pine Island Road, Suite 300 - Plantation, FL 33324 - Phone: 800-521-9667 / 954-382-0030 - Fax: 954-382-2810