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The role of performance reviews in wrongful termination cases

For years, one article after another in business publications has pointed out that most people hate the typical performance review system that is widely used in the U.S.

It isn’t merely that meetings with managers are often stressful. It is also the fact that when there is conflict or discrimination in the workplace, the performance review process can easily be affected. It can be manipulated by management to skew the results in its favor.

But performance reviews can also work in the employee’s favor. A track record of solid reviews can make an employer’s discharge or demotion of an employee seem questionable. It can provide at least some evidence that the termination is due to discrimination or some other improper reason.

In this post, then, we will discuss the potentially double-sided role of performance reviews in wrongful termination cases.

At many companies, the annual performance review process is deeply ingrained in the corporate culture.

It may, for example, be an integral part of the compensation system. Increases in compensation – even for inflation – may be tied to achieving an acceptable performance rating.

But what if; the employer wants to get rid of the employee for discriminatory or other improper reasons?

In those cases, the performance review process does not necessarily work entirely in the employer’s favor. If an employee has built a solid record of positive reviews, an abrupt change in his or her rating seems suspect – and suggests some other motivation may be involved.

Keep in mind, if you are facing this kind of employer turnabout, that employment law does provide certain protections against dismissal from your job.

For more information, please visit our page on wrongful termination.

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