Tips for Ensuring Performance Appraisals Hold Up in Court

Performance Management (Appraisals)
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Genevieve Northup
Editor, Germany

Tips for Ensuring Performance Appraisals Hold Up in Court

One inherent risk in the use of performance evaluations is that they may become the basis for or evidence in workplace discrimination or wrongful termination lawsuits. Based on an analysis of court proceedings in such lawsuits, researchers developed indicators to make performance appraisals defendable.
According to them, companies should consider the following in developing and executing appraisals that can withstand legal proceedings:
  1. RESPONSIBILITIES AND CAPABILITIES: Use performance criteria that are based on responsibilities and tasks of the position, as well as the capabilities of the employee necessary to successfully complete such requirements (Kreitner, 2009, p. 276, 283).
  2. BEHAVIOR: The basis of your evaluation should be an individual's behavior rather than an individual’s characteristics. (Kreitner, 2009, p. 283). In doing so, managers remain focused on “how” well employees accomplish requirements (Kreitner, 2009, p. 283).
  3. TRAINING AND INSTRUCTIONS: Reviewers receive training and detailed written instructions to avoid personal bias, errors and ambiguity (Kreitner, 2009, p. 283).
  4. REGULARLY MEETINGS: Reviewers meet with employees to discuss the performance evaluation to facilitate corrective actions and professional development (Kreitner, 2009, p. 283).
Source: Kreitner, R. (2009) "Management" (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


apeksha mehrishi
Student (MBA), India

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Ed Neri
HR Consultant, Philippines

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I agree with you Mr. Jaap, it's key to "keep record" throughout the process. The recommendation is t... Sign up

Bernie Althofer
Teacher, Australia

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Onyango Lucius
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