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Brown Law Office 972-355-0092
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Employer Law FAQ

How Should Employers Conduct Performance Evaluations?

Conducting employee performance evaluations serves many important purposes for employers. It allows employers to monitor employee job performance, evaluate company goals and progress towards meeting those goals and determine any areas of weakness that need to be addressed.

Employee reviews also have practical purposes and allow employers to document any issues they may have with employees that could later be grounds for termination or denial of a promotion or raise. By documenting these issues, employers create a written record they can use to show the reasons adverse employment actions were taken should an employee consider filing a wrongful termination or other lawsuit against the employer.

Developing a Process

Employers need to create a performance review process that is standardized for all employees. The review should focus solely on the employee's job performance and not on personal characteristics or traits. Federal antidiscrimination laws prohibit employers from considering race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion or sex in employment decisions. Likewise, these laws also prevent employers from considering an employee's past or current military service or whether or not the employee is pregnant or planning to have a family.

It is important that employers choose individuals to conduct the evaluations who have personal knowledge of the job's duties and the employee's performance in carrying out those duties. This will help protect the fairness of the process and the legitimacy of the evaluation.

Employers may want to use a standardized form to record each employee's performance review. The information included on this form should be specific and detailed. Those conducting the review should avoid generalizations and use specific examples to explain why certain decisions were made. The employee's strengths and weaknesses should be discussed, as well as any suggestions for improvement.

Employers also should create a process for employees to discuss any issues or disagreements they may have with a performance evaluation. It may be necessary to provide alternative persons for the employee to meet with to discuss the grievances, in cases where the employee is uncomfortable discussing it with the immediate supervisor or the person normally assigned to handle the grievances is the one who gave the employee the objectionable review.

Employee Participation

It is important for employees to understand the review process and how they will be evaluated prior to their performance evaluation. Employers may want to schedule one or more meetings prior to the review to set employee expectations about the process, develop employee goals and discuss the company's performance expectations for its employees.

To encourage employee involvement in the process, employers may find it useful to have employees evaluate themselves. This way, employees are given a stake in the process. Employees also may have examples of ways they have contributed to the company or met their personal goals of which the evaluator was unaware.

For help developing a performance review procedure or for assistance with other employment law matters, contact an experienced employment law attorney in your area.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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Betty L. Brown
Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
in Labor and Employment Law
Fountain Park
1021 Long Prairie Road, Suite 402
Flower Mound, TX 75022
Phone: 972-355-0092
Fax: 972-899-9635
E-mail: betty@brownemploymentlaw.com