"Performance Evaluation"

In the corporate world, the practice of giving annual performance reviews to employees has come under attack in recent years.  Leading business magazines and newspapers have printed articles advocating for the elimination of performance evaluations.  There are even books in the marketplace that teach companies how to get rid of performance reviews.  Among the reasons

Often times, an employee may know that discipline or a poor performance evaluation is imminent. Occasionally, such an employee will engage in a preemptive strike—“You can’t discipline me or give me a poor performance evaluation now since I have submitted a complaint.” While this may not necessarily be the norm, it is also not unheard

AnotherGavel.jpgBy: Adrianna E. Guzman and Joshua A. Goodman

The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has long held that employees are entitled to union representation if they are required to attend a meeting where they have a reasonable belief that discipline may result from the meeting (Weingarten rights).  In Redwoods Community College District v. Public

ClipboardIn the corporate world, the practice of giving annual performance reviews to employees is under attack.  Leading business magazines and newspapers have printed articles advocating for the elimination of performance evaluations.  There are even books in the marketplace that teach companies how to get rid of performance reviews.  Among the reasons for eliminating annual evaluations

Performance-Review.pngHow many times have you heard LCW attorneys tell you to timely and accurately complete performance evaluations?  You likely hear this advice at every Employment Relations Consortium training you’ve attended.  A recent case reminds us all how crucial honest performance evaluations and other forms of progressive discipline can be.

In the case of Dickerson v. Board of Trustees of Community College District No. 522,   Bobby Dickerson was employed as a part-time janitor by an Illinois Community College District.  Between 2005 and 2007, his supervisor gave him written warnings issued for his refusal to perform work assignments, failure to secure job-related equipment, and for leaving the worksite without permission.  In 2005, 2006 and 2007, Dickerson applied for full-time positions with the district, but never succeeded.  Shortly after his third failed attempt at a promotion, Dickerson complained to the district that he was being discriminated against because of his “personal traits” and a speech defect. 

Dickerson then received a performance evaluation in December, 2007 for the period of November, 2006 through November, 2007.  Dickerson received “unsatisfactory” ratings in three of the seven performance categories.  The supervisor also provided written comments such as, “Dickerson is consistently late for work and needs to improve;” “jobs need to be redone because of not listening to the job instructions;” and that Dickerson “does only the bare minimum to meet job requirements.”  Dickerson disagreed with the evaluation and filed a grievance with his union alleging the district gave him the evaluation in retaliation for his exercise of union activities.

In February, 2008, Dickerson filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging the district failed to promote him to a full-time position because it believed he was mentally disabled in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Dickerson had a below average IQ which indicated “mild mental retardation.”

Shortly after filing the EEOC complaint, Dickerson approached the Vice President of Human Resources and asked what he should be doing differently in order to be promoted to a full-time position.  The Vice President replied to the effect of, “you are suing your employer and you should not be suing your employer.”


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