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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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