Are there any legal issues with an employee supervising and or participating in performance evaluation of another equal co-worker?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are there any legal issues with an employee supervising and or participating in performance evaluation of another equal co-worker?

I am a state employee in Arkansas. I have a question concerning co-workers participating in performance evaluations of other equal rank or pay grade employees. Originally, I worked with Arkansas corrections, and was taught in a training class that employees are not allowed to supervise other equal co-workers, or sign time sheets or leave forms or participate in performance evaluations. I now work with Human Services, and it is a normal routine for workers to complete second party reviews on equal co-workers which are used in part for the performance evaluation. This could adversely affect the employees ability to receive bonuses or raises, and may even cause the co-worker to be placed on probation or be terminated. Why would one state agency say this is a no no while another agency makes this part of the normal routine? Is this legal? Thank you.

Asked on June 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is perfectly legal: any employer may set up any review process it likes, and reviews incorporating feedback from co-workers, while not the most common way to do things, are not unheard of either. As to why one agency would do this and another not, there are two possible reasons:
1) They (or their managers/supervisors/etc.) have different theories about how to manage--again, any employer may run things in its own business/department/agency however it likes, and there are many different management theories.
2) IF there is a union contract covering employees in one place but not the other, the employer would have to follow any terms of that contract in regards to performance reviews.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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