Protecting your rights in the workplace.

Retaliation in Performance Evaluations

Retaliation by employers can take various forms, including negative changes in performance evaluations.

Examples of Retaliation in Performance Evaluations

Retaliation in a performance evaluation can manifest in various ways. Here are some examples:

Unwarranted Negative Feedback

Providing disproportionately negative feedback that is not supported by the employee’s actual performance, especially after the employee engaged in a protected activity.

Lowered Ratings or Scores

Arbitrarily assigning lower ratings or scores in specific performance categories which adversely affects the overall evaluation without valid justification based on performance metrics.

Inconsistent Application of Criteria

Applying evaluation criteria inconsistently, such as holding an employee to a different standard than their peers.

Using Performance Reviews for Further Retaliation

If your employer is retaliating against you by using your performance review, it may be used as a precursor to justify the following adverse actions:

Denial of Advancement Opportunities

Denying an employee opportunities for promotion, training, or career development that they would otherwise be eligible for based on their performance.

Demotion or Change in Responsibilities

Sudden demotion or reassignment to lower-level tasks or responsibilities without valid performance-related reasons.

Change in Job Title or Classification

Altering an employee’s job title or classification without proper justification based on their performance which may negatively impact their career prospects or compensation.

Loss of Benefits or Perks

Retaliation can involve removing benefits, privileges, or perks that the employee previously enjoyed without legitimate performance-related reasons.

Isolation or Ostracization

Treating the employee differently from their colleagues, excluding them from meetings, discussions, or social interactions, or isolating them in a way that negatively impacts their work environment.

Increased Supervision or Micromanagement

Subjecting the employee to heightened levels of supervision, scrutiny, or micromanagement can be a form of retaliation to create a hostile work environment.

Termination or Threats of Termination

In extreme cases, an employer might resort to terminating the employee or making implicit or explicit threats of termination, in retaliation based on their doctored performance review.

Legal Recourse Against Retaliation

Employees are protected from retaliation under various federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Whistleblower Protection Act. If you suspect that you have been a victim of retaliation in your performance evaluation, you have legal options:

  • File a Complaint with a Government Agency: