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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Making an Employment Decision?

5. I'm conducting performance evaluations.

Ensuring that managers who conduct performance evaluations understand their responsibilities may help prevent discrimination.

  • When employees are hired, or soon after they begin working, communicate your performance standards (your expectations for job performance) to them.
  • Apply the performance standards consistently when conducting performance evaluations..
  • Explain whether employees have met performance standards.
    • It may be helpful to include relevant facts. For example: "Jesse exceeded the minimum production standard by 15% for 22 of the past 26 weeks."
    • Including factual details in evaluations may help employees understand the basis for evaluation decisions and may help them identify potential areas for improvement. Including details may also help ensure that managers are consistently applying performance standards.
  • Ensure that employees are not held to higher standards or given negative evaluations because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older), genetic information (including family medical history).
    • For example, an employee who missed several weeks of work for medical reasons shouldn't be rated poorly because he didn't meet the production quota during his absence.
  • Inform employees if you change performance standards or policies. Explain the new rules.
  • Respond promptly and effectively to discrimination complaints regarding performance evaluations.

See also:

I need to discipline or fire an employee.

Handling Internal Discrimination Complaints about Performance Evaluations

Example - Justifying Inconsistent Treatment