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 am a federal employee with over 20 years of service. I have always received at least a satisfactory appraisal and have numerous recent performance awards. A year ago, I started a new federal job and, after seven months, I received an unacceptable appraisal with a zero rating, and I was placed on a 90-day PIP. I am desperately trying to get out of a very bad job situation.
If a potential employer does not ask for a copy of the appraisal or does not ask if it was satisfactory during the application or interview process and offers me a job, can they withdraw the offer or terminate me once they receive a copy of my official personnel folder and find the unsatisfactory appraisal in it?
They can withdraw the offer before you start. Once you start, assuming you are not required to complete a probationary or trial period, you may not be terminated, unless you are less than honest during the application process.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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