Is forced ranking legal for indirect and salary employees?

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If by "forced ranking" you mean ranking employees according to performance or some other criteria, in such fashion that  all employees have to be ranked vis-a-vis their coworkers (like grading on a curve at school, where students are graded against each other)--yes, that is legal. Whether you are salaried or hourly or other, an employer could require that you be ranked against coworkers, and could then use that ranking to make employment related decisions. For example, I believe that at one point, GE was notorious for ranking all employees--and firing the bottom 5%; and I've worked for an employer that did the same and fired  the bottom 10% in each department each year.

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