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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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I feel I should consult a legal expert after receiving a negative

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I feel I should consult a legal expert after receiving a negative performance evaluation. I feel its possible I may have been discriminated against. How can I determine if I have a case? How much would the legal advice cost? What could a possible legal case cost? And what are its ramifications?
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts you've described. Is it your believe that you have been discriminated against because of your race, gender, age, disability, religion, national origin, or pregnancy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I received a negative review, no prior warning of any performance problems, and no remedies to address such issues during or after receiving the performance. Mostly overly subjective statements, some I consider demeaning, and all of it can be disputed with facts. Also, during the phone conversation with my manager, he implied the negative review was retaliatory for an email exchange we had late in the year. I believe it is possible the negative review could be race related, but unable to judge on my own. What might be such criteria?

Thank you. Why do you believe that the negative review is because of your race?

It's important to realize that one cannot speculate. One has to have proof that there was a negative review because of your race and not because of your work performance.

In other words, can you prove (1) that the claims in the performance evaluation are false, and (2) the manager made the false allegations because of your race?

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I didn't say the negative performance review was because of my race, but stated it is possible.


How can one prove the negative performance review was because of one's race, unless the manager made statements toward that conclusion. And what would those statements be?


I can prove the claims in the performance evaluation are false, but that the manager made these false allegations because of my race may be harder to prove.


But what else could it be?


Thank you for the clarifications. Are you aware that the law does not prohibit a manager or supervisor from making a negative performance evaluation?

Is it possible that you believe the manager's assessment is unfair and, perhaps, is solely a result of being a poor manager?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I believe that is true as well and could very well be the case. This is why I sort expert advice. I don't want to make assumptions. When I contact HR, I want to have a forceful response.


I've also read it is illegal to retaliate for unrelated job performance reasons, like the email exchange I stated earlier.


There's something motivating this manager, and its not the facts.


I just need to find all of my options.

Thank you. Not all forms of retaliation are against the law. And, it's not illegal to be a poor manager or to be unfair in every aspect. You just cannot be treated unfairly because of your gender, age, disability, etc. If there are personality clashes, however, the law does not prohibit unfair treatment.

From the facts you've described, you are dealing with a poor manager. Thus, your option is to prepare a written rebuttal of the negative performance evaluation, present it to HR, and ask that your rebuttal be included in your personnel file.

In other words, the manager has not violated any laws. However, you can dispute the characterizations by writing out your side of things and asking that your side be included in your personnel file.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
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