It is not practicable to provide an exhaustive analysis of the legal implications of performance appraisal as these often vary from one state or national jurisdiction to the next. Nevertheless there are principles of equity and fairness that should be upheld in any good employee evaluation process.
Note The following is not specific legal advice and should not be treated as such.
1. Performance appraisals should not be used in a merely punitive or retaliatory fashion. It is grossly unprofessional for a manager or supervisor to use the appraisal process to 'get even' with an employee who has displeased or upset them in some way.
2. Appraisals should not be used to discriminate against employees on the basis of race, religion, age, gender, disability, marital status, pregnancy, or sexual preference.
3. Performance appraisal results should be fair, accurate and supported by evidence and examples. For instance, if an employee has poor interpersonal skills and is harming morale and group performance, the supervisor might keep a log of incidents. Co-workers may be interviewed and their views and reactions recorded. The nature and effects of the employee's behavior should be documented.
4. An employee should have the opportunity to comment on their appraisal result, to express their agreement or otherwise, and to appeal the result or at least request a review by upline supervisors.
5. Appraisals should be balanced, recording information on both the good and the bad aspects of an employee's performance (as far as possible).
6. Appraisals results should not be used as the sole basis for promotion, remuneration or termination decisions. A broad range of information should be considered, in which the employee's appraisal results may be significant but not necessarily conclusive.
7. Employees who receive a poor performance...