Can my employer rate me on a parameter which I have no control over?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2011

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Can my employer rate me on a parameter which I have no control over?

I work for a very large IT Services business doing desktop support (responding to help desk requests) with 2 other co-workers. These requests come to us in the form of a trouble ticket that we respond to and then resolve within a set amount of time. One of the parameters we are measured on is how many tickets we do per day, something we have no control over as we can’t just make up calls if there are none on a particular day. It gets averaged out over a month. I just don’t see how we can be evaluated on something we have no control over. Do I have a leg to stand on here?

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you may not have any recourse here. While unfair, using this parameter does not violate the law. The reason is that the majority of employment arrangements are "at will". This means that as a general rule an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason (even a bad one) or for no reason at all.  Additionally, a employer may increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit. In turn, a person can work for an employer or not, their choice.

However there are exceptions to the above. For example, if there is a stated company policy covering this type of situation or there is a union/employment agreement to the contrary. Also, if some form of discrimination is a factor in any decision to terminate your employment.

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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