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Performance Appraisals: Montana

Performance Appraisals requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Jason Ritchie and William Dabney, Holland & Hart, LLP


  • Generally, Montana law does not restrict private communications involving opinions, such as performance appraisals, particularly when those communications are kept confidential between management and the employee. See Employer Liability Regarding Performance Appraisals.
  • Montana requires that employers have good cause to terminate employees under the Montana Wrongful Discharge Act. Performance appraisals can play a crucial role in defending wrongful discharge claims. See Wrongful Discharge Claims.
  • Employees may file claims based on defamation, invasion of privacy and negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress in Montana, in which performance appraisals could be used as evidence. See Common Law Claims.
  • Montana law allows individuals to bring claims for negligent hiring, retention and supervision by third parties, in which performance appraisals could prove probative. See Negligent Retention and Supervision.
  • Montana does not provide broad protection for employers who provide information about an employee to prospective employers. See Employer References.
  • Montana has laws requiring equal pay for equal work, as well as laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, disability, marital status, sex and pregnancy or maternity. These employee protections should be kept in mind when evaluating job performance. See Performance Appraisals and Discrimination.
  • Potential retaliation issues may exist if an employee received a poor performance review after he or she has engaged in a protected activity under Montana law. See Performance Appraisals and Retaliation.