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The "Dirty Thirty" Problems With Employee Performance Reviews! Part 2
May 08, 2011


Employee Rights News You Can Use



Important change to the ADA!!


Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act become law on May 24. They require employers to focus on accommodation for the employees disability. I believe these changes can be a victory for every career seeker and employee with a covered disability. Why? because it will require employers to "Stop focusing on whether someone is disabled and focus on the potential discrimination and reasonable accommodation."

President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26,1990. The ADA provides protections to individuals with physical or mental disabilities. Under Title I dealing with employment, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide an equal opportunity to qualified individuals. It makes it unlawful to discriminate against job applicants and employees with disabilities. Title I restricts employers from asking applicants about health conditions before a job offer. The actual law reads :

No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

Title I includes state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations. The ADA’s nondiscrimination standards also apply to federal sector employees under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act.

This from the ADA fact sheet:
An individual with a disability is a person who:

Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; Has a record of such an impairment; or Is regarded as having such an impairment.

A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to:

Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position; Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.

An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business.

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications provided by an employer to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities. Accommodations vary depending upon the needs of the individual applicant or employee. Not all people with disabilities (or even all people with the same disability) will require the same accommodation.

According to Jeff Nowak, a labor and employment attorney at Franczek Radelet in Chicago the new changes "widen the range of disabilities and shift the burden of proof from employees to business owners in labor disputes..." What does the amended law change? You can read the full article here;


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Date May 8, 2011

Issue #26


Your Basic Employee Rights Survey results!

I want to thank everyone that participated in my recent survey. It answered some important questions.

(1) What is the #1 workplace issue that concerns or affects you?

(2) How can better address those concerns?

After reviewing the survey results, the #1 workplace issue is....(drum roll ;0) JOB EVALUATIONS!





So let's get to it!



The "Dirty Thirty" Problems With Employee Performance Reviews! Part 2

Remember your boss dreads you reading about this. Which is precisely why you should ;0) We continue with our "Dirty Thirty" Problems With Employee Performance Reviews.

HR Futility Exercise
How many employer HR's perform any substantive analysis over time of what value the performance review actually adds versus what it costs?

Everything's Equal?
A lot of employee performance forms rate different assessment parts as carrying equal weight. For example, a convenience store clerk's customer service performance rating should be given more weight than a third shift factory production line worker. Therefore, the rating should be in direct proportion to the essential functions of the particular job.

Recycled Performance Reviews
Because of the cumbersome and time consuming nature of many performance appraisal processes and forms, managers routinely regurgitate or recycle last quarters or last year's performance review. This allows managers to just reproduce the same evaluation forms already filled in on key rating areas. All this accomplishes is a waste of time for both the employee and employer.

Evaluator Monopoly
Rarely does the employee have input or a choice of who evaluates her. There are a few employers offering this type of employee engagement. But, with the exception of 360 feedback performance appraisals "who the employee sees is who the employee gets". You can learn about 360 feedback job evaluations here;


See YA, Don't Want To Be YA
When performance appraisals are executed poorly or the process itself is flawed some employees will leave for "better pastures". Quality employees who don't receive the recognition and rewards for excellent performance can and will wave bye bye.

Who Are You??
I've had personal experience with this one. A new manager comes into the organization and is stupid enough to evaluate someone they don't know and had no interaction with. In my particular situation the manager knew next to nothing about IT (information technology) yet was given the position! He then two months into trying to learn his OWN job assumed he was competent to evaluate myself and others that were degreed IT professionals with many years of experience. Oh by the way, this individual was "turned loose" by management with little or no performance review training.

Good Ole Boys and Girls
Here's the scenario, your best pal is now your supervisor. Then comes the performance review and you get a great review when you know your performance should've rated lower. However, several of your co-workers who your "best pal" manager doesn't really know or like as well get so-so reviews for superior work. That's a great recipe for low morale, low productivity, distrust for the process, negative feelings and last but certainly not least, possible discrimination lawsuits.

Supervisors On A String
Believe it or not there are some managers and supervisors who are truly dedicated to conducting fair and honest employment reviews. But from my research and experience these are a "dying breed". The ever increasing pressure from top corporate management for the "bottom line", outsourcing, illegal immigration job absorption and a general attack on the rights of employees contributes to this trend. Many workplaces have a culture that use employee performance reviews as one of many "pretext" weapons for taking adverse action. In these environments managers are willing puppets or it that marionettes?

Supervisor Sovereignty
One reason managers and supervisors conduct job evaluations with such a range of inconsistency is because they're typically not held accountable for conducting an accurate performance appraisal. If the manager makes mistakes on the evaluation form or conducts the review process poorly there's generally no negative consequences. Upper management may complain the job evaluation was performed late but that's about it. This in effect provides the supervisor with a "shield of immunity".

What Have You Done To Me Lately
Managers and evaluative processes that are incompetent will routinely focus on recent performance events rather than the entire performance appraisal period. This can lead to distorted and uneven evaluations that almost always end in poor ratings for the employee.

Well we've gotten to the end of this installment. I look forward to sharing with you again next time ;0)

Stay tuned for;
The "Dirty Thirty" Problems With Employee Performance Reviews! Part 3

All The Best!
From your fellow employee,

Employee Rights Educator, Coach, Trainer, Advocate, Internet Presence Consultant


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Written by Yancey Thomas Jr.


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