Employers adopt performance agreements as a means of improving accountability. They frequently arise in situations where employees are not meeting standards. The performance agreement defines expectations, sets goals, and ends with a signed agreement.
This approach is seen as a way to assure everyone is on the same page. It is also provides documentation concerning performance issues. The intention is to improve communication, establish understanding, encourage trust, and provide an outline for gauging future performance with the hope of resolving problems along the way.
However, even if these agreements arise from the best of intentions, the parties involved do not always honor them. Employees may find themselves terminated despite meeting objectives, and employers often discover that employees have not followed the terms. This gives rise to a breach of performance agreement issue, which opens up a touchy legal area.
The performance agreement should indicate consequences for failing to meet milestones. There are normally rewards listed, too. For example, meeting certain significant goals may lead to a bonus. In some scenarios, continued employment is the only result of meeting goals.
Without a description of what happens in case of a breach, employers open themselves to wrongful termination claims. Employees can be confused and may misinterpret the seriousness of the situation. A performance agreement that is not transparent is unlikely to be considered enforceable in a court of law.
If you discover an employee is not meeting standards, you may wish to consult with an attorney before taking further action. We can help you determine whether the performance agreement contains the necessary elements needed to allow remedies under the law. That way, if you find that termination is the only appropriate cause of action, you can go through with that action without substantial legal risk.
However, if you are an employee who met the requirements listed in the performance agreement only to face termination anyway, you may be entitled to damages. We offer employment law services along with business litigation, so our attorneys can review your case and see if you have options available.
Call the Law Offices of John J. Zidziunas & Associates for assistance with breach of performance agreement issues at (973) 509-8500. The telephone consultation is free and we will help you find the best course of action.