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Can performance evaluations be used to show discrimination?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Hospitality Industry

Performance evaluations are a great way to give your employees feedback, discuss professional growth, and hold them accountable for their shortcomings. Yet, these appraisals also give rise to some risks, as improperly written and delivered remarks can be misconstrued as discrimination. This, in turn, can lead to litigation that you’ve hoped to avoid. You certainly don’t want that to happen.

How can you avoid problems when writing performance evaluations?

There are some ways to mitigate the risks associated with a performance evaluation. This includes doing each of the following:

  • Informing all employees of performance expectations and standards, preferably shortly after they begin their employment with you.
  • Applying those standards consistently when generating your performance appraisals.
  • Giving clear explanations of performance in your evaluations.
  • Relying on facts and data to justify evaluation ratings when possible.
  • Informing workers if expectations and standards change.
  • Being careful to not apply differing standards for those who are in a protected class.

How to protect your business from claims of discrimination

Ultimately, much of what goes into a performance appraisal is subjective in nature. To minimize the risk of being accused of unfair or even discriminatory treatment, be sure to document performance issues as much as possible. This not only puts your employee on notice, thereby giving them the opportunity to address problematic performance but it also creates a paper trail of performance issues, performance correction, and the employee’s response. It’s also helpful to have ongoing and constructive communication with your employees.

Are you facing employment law issues in the hospitality industry?

If you are, you might be worried about the process and its potential outcomes. The good news is that you don’t have to leave your case to chance. Instead, you can diligently work to analyze your situation and build compelling legal arguments targeted at protecting your business interests. If you’d like to learn more about what that looks like under your set of circumstances, we encourage you to continue reading up on the topic and take the steps that you think are right for you and your business.