Can a manager at a company ask his secretary to call employees and gather information about co-workers for their performance reviews?

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Can a manager at a company ask his secretary to call employees and gather information about co-workers for their performance reviews?

The manager has had his secretary call around to several employees asking how

so-and-so is as a worker and partner. Shouldn’t employees evals be confidential, not only from other employees, but also the secretary?

Asked on April 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Employees have no legal right to privacy regarding performance reviews. Accordingly, while unprofessional, this action was not illegal. The fact is that in "at will" employment relationships, a company can set the conditons of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes who conducts information gathering for such reviews. Therefore, unless this action violated company policy, the terms of an employment contract or union agreement or in some way constituted actionable discrimination, you have no claim.


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