Q & A Session – Unfair 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.


Last year my performance review was all 4’s. Since that time I have received no grade increase and no step increase. This year my supervisor told me how much I have improved. Then, he gave me all 3’s and 2’s and refused to tell me how I “dropped the ball” or give me specific examples. When I showed him the review he gave me last year he accused me of “doctoring” the document. I contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office and my union and they both said they would not do anything.


The EEO Office should not discourage you from filing a complaint. I suggest you read your collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to see what your grievance rights are for a performance appraisal you think is unfair and unwarranted. Then, go back to the union and cite the specific part of the CBA and insist that they help you with a grievance.

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

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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