Laws to Consider When Doing Performance Evaluations

by Maureen Malone

Performance evaluations help employers maintain high quality work standards and give employees feedback on their work and areas in which they can improve. If an employee is given a poor evaluation, this may later be used as a reason to terminate or pass her up for a promotion. Federal and state laws are in place to protect employees from discriminatory performance reviews.

Evaluation Requirements

While many companies' policies require performance evaluations, they are not required by Fair Labor Standards Act. This act does not apply to federal employees. All federal agencies must have a performance plan that includes a system for periodic employee evaluations. The specific requirements vary by agency and are based on the objectives of the agency and the role of the federal employee. The results of these evaluations are used to reward, promote, terminate or reassign employees. State law determines whether employees in the state government are required to have performance evaluations.

Anti-discrimination Laws

Employers may not discriminate against employees during performance evaluations. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow discrimination based on race, sex, religion or nationality. In addition, employers may not give a female a poor review because of pregnancy or childbirth. Anti-discrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If an employee has a disability, he is protected from discrimination in a performance evaluation by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The performance review may only cover the disabled employee's specific duties and may not be lowered based on any reasonable accommodations the employee needs to complete the job. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include modifying work schedules or equipment.

State Laws

Each state has additional laws pertaining to performance evaluations for workers. For example, workers in California are entitled to have access to their personnel files and performance evaluations at no cost. In Illinois, teachers are evaluated based on the Performance Evaluation Reform Act. This Act lays out the factors on which teachers are evaluated, including student growth measures.

About the Author

Maureen Malone started writing in 2008. She writes articles for business promotion and informational articles on various websites. Malone has a Bachelor of Science in technical management with an emphasis in biology from DeVry University.

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