Q & A Session – Coworker in Performance Appraisal


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I had the understanding that performance appraisals are always done one-on-one with my supervisor and that all appraisals are considered private. My current supervisor wants our team leader to sit in on the performance appraisals even though she has no supervising authority. I believe they may claim the exception “the information is disclosed to an agency employee who maintains the record or has a ‘need to know’ in the performance of his duties.” Is this legal?


You have answered your question by citing the exception. Team leaders are technically not supervisors but they do direct work. Therefore, there is at least an argument that they have a need to know about their team members’ performance assessments.


Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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