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PIP based on Bogus Performance Review

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by egrizzly, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. egrizzly

    egrizzly Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My new boss who is rather uneducated for the position recently put me on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). This PIP was based on a Performance Review full of false information. Can I sue the company if I have evidence that the document which the PIP was based on was based on lies? What would be my remedies? When and how should I mount the litigation?

    If I cannot sue what would be the optimal and most efficient move I can make that can get me as close to keeping the job as possible?
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    An aggrieved person can sue almost anyone for any reason.

    The question you must ask yourself is: "If I bring a lawsuit against "Company XYZ" or "Mr Bigshot" will I prevail?

    If you plan to sue your employer for a performance review you dislike, or for placing you on a "PIP", prepare to be terminated. If you initiate such a lawsuit, prepare for your employer to prevail in court.

    Texas is an "at will" employment state.

    If you are employed at will, your employer does not need good cause to fire you.

    In every state, but Montana (which protects employees who have completed an initial "probationary period" from being fired without cause), employers are free to adopt at-will employment policies, and many of them have. In fact, unless your employer gives some clear indication that it will only fire employees for good cause, the law presumes that you are employed at will.

    Even as an at-will employee, you still cannot be fired for reasons that are illegal under state and federal law.

    In the above instance, our laws make an exception to the general rule of at-will employment.

    To complete the PIP and work as hard as humanly possible to get back in your manager's good graces.

    Your other option is to seek new employment before things go from bad to worse.
    hrforme likes this.
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    As armyjudge noted in nearly every state employment is "at will" which means that an employee may be fired for any reason other than a few reasons prohibited by federal or state law.
    The prohibited reasons include firing you because:

    • of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, or genetic test information under federal law (some states/localities add a few more categories like sexual orientation);
    • you make certain kinds of reports about the employer to the government or in limited circumstances to specified persons in the employing company itself (known as whistle-blower protection laws);
    • you participate in union organizing activities;
    • you use a right or benefit the law guarantees you (e.g. using leave under FMLA);
    • you filed a bankruptcy petition;
    • your pay was garnished by a single creditor; and
    • you took time off work to attend jury duty (in most states).
    The exact list of prohibited reasons will vary by state. Texas is not among the more employee friendly states in this regard.

    So unless the reason you were put on the PIP was a reason like one of those listed above there is nothing illegal going on here. The employer doesn't have to be right about the reasons that lead to the PIP. It just matters that the reasons weren't among the relatively few reasons the law prohibits.

    If you are employed by the government, are a union member and the union has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the employer, or if you have an employment contract for some specific period of time (e.g. one year, five years, etc) that limits the reasons you may b
    e fired then your employment may not be at will and may have some other remedy for this.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Anyone can sue anyone for anything, but nothing you wrote indicates you have any sort of viable legal claim against your employer. What did your employer do that you think was legally wrong? Moreover, what damages do you think you have suffered? Perhaps it would be helpful if you provided a bit of detail about your allegation that your "Performance Review [was] full of false information."

    I'm not sure I really understand the question, but it doesn't appear to raise any legal issue and likely can't be answered intelligently by anyone not familiar with your employer's operations and your job.
    hrforme likes this.

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