Houston, TX – There are certain ways that employers can mistreat workers through means that appear legitimate on the surface. Many companies periodically review an employee’s performance to address important issues such as productivity and the quality of their work product. However, performance reviews have also been used as a pretext for retaliation, discrimination, and harassment by various companies.
How performance reviews function in the workplace
Performance reviews are supposed to be objective and unbiased. This gives management an opportunity to discuss strong and weak points with individual workers, while discussing ways to improve and help meet the company’s objectives going forward.
However, many workers have brought lawsuits when they noticed a sudden change in their performance reviews for suspicious or illegitimate reasons after years of positive comments. Bad reviews can cause the worker to be demoted, disciplined, or even terminated from their position. Aside from negative reviews, some employers have also been sued for systemically giving positive reviews to certain groups, which may include promotions and pay raises, while giving mediocre or poor reviews to other groups. This is clearly a form of discrimination if it is based on any characteristics other than employee performance and merit.
Ways that discrimination can affect workers
Performance reviews can be one of the most efficient ways for employers to eliminate workers based on their age, race, gender, religion, or nation origin if these illegal acts are not detected. These processes are easily abused because there is a highly subjective element to whether a superior is satisfied with work done by an employee. In some situations, it is very simple for the victim’s manager or supervisor to essentially make up a reason why they are displeased with the person’s work product. Any evidence of an overly subjective or nonsensical performance review may be crucial within the context of a lawsuit. This is especially true if most rational people would not agree with the assessment of the person’s work.
Problems that can legitimately result in discipline
If an employer has legitimate reasons to discipline a worker, these should be clear and documented. Reasons for negative reviews or discipline should include specific instances of tardiness, violations of company policy, disobeying direct orders, theft of company resources, or failure to complete important tasks. This kind of formal recording leaves less room for interpretation or subjective opinions as to why a worker should be disciplined.
Lawsuits related to workplace issues
Employees who feel that they may have legitimate grounds for a lawsuit against their workplace in Texas can contact Moore and Associates. Their attorneys are experienced in all matters related to labor and employment law in the state.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002