Employment Performance Appraisal Law and Legal Definition

A performance appraisal, in the employment context, is the compilation of written details concerning measures related to employees such as unit, quantity, quality, accounting, and cost measures. The employee performance management process provides an opportunity for the employee and supervisor to discuss development goals and jointly create a plan for achieving those goals. Performance plans contribute to organizational goals and the professional growth of the employee.

The performance record is kept throughout the appraisal period (typically one year), during which the supervisor observes and provides behavioral feedback on the performance of the employee, focusing on helping the employee to achieve successful performance. At the end of the appraisal period, and in collaboration with the employee, the supervisor uses the performance record to generate an overall rating of performance that can be used by the human resources department for promotions.

Timing of performance appraisals and availablility of retroactive pay and other benefits accruing under performance appriasals are generally governed by the employment policies of private employers. There are laws governing review of public employees and rights to benefits, but employers have broad discretion in awarding merit pay and bonuses as long as they are handled in a non-discriminatory manner.