Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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There is nothing inherently unlawful about an employer requiring an employee to sign a review, even if the give the employee little or no time to look it over. The employee's signature typically just denotes that they received a copy of the review, it is not considered an "admission" or "agreement" with the substance of the review.
Since employment is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary, employers don't even need a bad review before they can fire someone or take other adverse employment action. Therefore, the law does not impose any limits or restrictions on reviews. Reviews can be unfair, last minute, inaccurate, and the employee can attempt to reason with their employer but ultimately they have no legal ground to challenge the review. Employers are also not legally required to provide employees with copies of their reviews.
I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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