Appendix ESelected Legal Principles Relating to Performance Appraisals1

Legal Principle


Employment at Will

Ability of the employer or the employee to end an employment relationship at any time. Gives employer considerable latitude in determining how, whether, and when to appraise performance.

Implied Contract

Nonexplicit agreement impacting some part of the employment relationship. May prevent termination for cause or other ways the employer can use the results of the appraisal.


Some type of failure to conduct performance appraisals with due care. Potential liability may require employer to provide employee with opportunity to improve and to inform him about poor performance.


Disclosure of negative, ...

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