Know Your Rights

Evaluations and your rights

Have you received a work performance evaluation that you honestly believe is unjust?

According to the Education Code, you have the right to submit a rebuttal to a performance evaluation or any other derogatory documentation.

You also have the right to inspect any materials in your personnel file that might affect your employment status, except ratings, and you maintain this right for as long as you are employed by the district. However, there are some exceptions, including: reports or records which were obtained prior to your employment, were prepared by identifiable examination committee members, or were obtained in connection with a promotional examination.

Information of a derogatory nature, with the exceptions mentioned above, shall not be placed in your file until you are given notice and an opportunity to review and comment about it. You have the right to review any derogatory information during normal business hours and you must be released from work for this purpose, without a salary reduction. You also have the right to attach your own comments to any derogatory statement, although you must do so on off-duty time.

Questionable evaluations
Be aware that a mark of "needs improvement" or "unsatisfactory" should be accompanied by specific instructions from the evaluator on how you can improve. Also be aware that you have the right to attach a rebuttal to the evaluation if you wish. All evaluations should be signed and dated by the evaluator and the employee; a signature of the employee does not mean that you agree, merely that you received the evaluation.

If your evaluation was not objective and the evaluator did not have first-hand knowledge of the area marked deficient, you have the right to meet with the evaluator to discuss your concerns. Do not go to a meeting of this nature without a union representative. Contact your union steward, chapter officer or CSEA labor relations representative prior to scheduling the meeting.

What is an unscheduled evaluation?
An unscheduled evaluation is normally reserved for those employees whose supervisor believes the employee has fallen below standard performance ratings. Unfortunately, most supervisors use the unscheduled evaluation incorrectly and often as a documentation procedure to establish future discipline. An unscheduled evaluation is intended to notify an employee of weak performance areas.

If you receive an unscheduled evaluation, you should be advised in writing on the form what areas are below standard and why. It is easy for a supervisor to check a box; it is another thing to give you written reasons why you are being rated "below standard." You should also be given reasonable timelines with goals and objectives on how to achieve a standard rating. If you receive an unscheduled evaluation, contact your union steward, chapter officer or CSEA labor relations representative.