4 Important Facts About Negative Performance Reviews

by | Nov 18, 2020 | Employment Law | 0 comments

4 Important Facts About Negative Performance Reviews

Author: David Ertl, Employment Lawyer

Receiving an unwarranted negative performance review is one sign that your employer is aiming to dismiss you, or else, convince you to quit.

Here are some tips regarding unwarranted negative performance review

Not all negative performance reviews amount to a wrongful/constructive dismissal.

In fact, sometimes you might deserve the negative review. But if the negative review is unwarranted, it could be a wrongful/constructive dismissal if the employer has acted in bad faith when evaluating you or prevented you from improving. An example of bad faith could be where your employer evaluated you on duties that are not in your job description, or failed to provide you with adequate assistance to do your job

You don’t have to sign the negative performance review.

There is no law that requires you to sign your performance review, negative or otherwise. In fact, if you do not agree with your performance review you should immediately make your feelings known. Failing to tell your employer why you disagree with the negative review could allow your employer to rely on the review later to dismiss you for cause

How to contest a negative performance review?

Write out your version of what happened. If your employer states that you have done something wrong, correct it in your own narrative. If something did go wrong, point out all the things you did to try and make it right. Highlight any inconsistencies in the review with your previous reviews or prior feedback. Ensure that you tell your employer if any of the standards (by which you are measured) are unreasonable and whether you failed to receive proper support from the employer in achieving your objectives. Note any inequities in the evaluation process and whether any of the items you were evaluated on contradict company policies. Make sure your version is in writing, and insist a copy of it be placed in your employee file.

Can I sue my employer for giving me a negative performance review?

No, generally you can’t. But, If you can prove that the performance review was done in bad faith and was provided maliciously and to damage you as an employee, you may have legal recourse. Otherwise, you may need to wait and see if you get terminated in order to address the review.

Ertl Lawyers – Ontario Employment Lawyers

If you’ve been given a negative performance review and have questions regarding your rights, contact Ertl Lawyers today for a free phone consultation: 1-888-222-6184 (toll free).


David Ertl Lawyer
About David Ertl
David Ertl, LL.B, has practiced employment and disability law for over 20 years. He is also a certified workplace investigator, former adjunct professor, and has written extensively in the areas of employment law, disability insurance, and tribunal practice and procedure.


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