Can points be deducted from a yearly review if you did not attend company events that you are not paid to attend?

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Can points be deducted from a yearly review if you did not attend company events that you are not paid to attend?

A company has summer picnics and company nights at baseball games, etc. The yearly review for employee raises is based on a point system. Can this company deduct points from an employee’s review, if they do not participate in these events? The employees are not paid for attending these events. This company also has a system, where the employees can submit commendations for their co-workers. In the review process, can this company deduct points from your review for not giving commendations to your co-workers?

Asked on July 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It is quite legal to for your company to do this. The fact is that raises and positive reviews are not legally mandated; they are provided at the discretion of an employer. Accordingly, the terms under which they are given are up to the employer. The fact is that most work is "at will" which means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, unless your treatment violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it is perfectly permissable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, the company can do this. You need to start from the perspective that there is NO right to raises or good reviews; it entirely at employer discretion how to value employees, whether to give them raises, what criteria to use for raises, if a raise is given, how much to give, etc. An employer may legally decide to employ these criteria.


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