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Performance Appraisals: District of Columbia

Performance Appraisals requirements for other states

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

Author: Christine Zebrowski, Overbrook Law LLC


  • The D.C. Human Rights Act is broader than federal antidiscrimination laws. Just as the nondiscrimination requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act apply to performance appraisals, so do the nondiscrimination requirements of the D.C. Human Rights Act. See The D.C. Human Rights Act.
  • The D.C. smokers' rights law prohibits an employer from discriminating against any employee based on his or her use of tobacco or tobacco products. See Smokers' Rights: Protection in Performance Appraisals.
  • D.C. recognizes claims for defamation, which encompass claims for slander (oral defamation) and libel (written defamation). D.C. also recognizes invasion of privacy claims. See Defamation and Invasion of Privacy.
  • D.C. recognizes a cause of action for negligent hiring or negligent retention of employees. See Negligent Retention.
  • Under the D.C. Family Leave Act any information the employee gives the employer regarding a family relationship relating to a request for family leave may be used only in making a decision in regard to family leave. See Protection for Communications Relating to Family Leave.
  • D.C. public sector employers have additional risk of liability under the D.C. Whistleblower Law. D.C. law includes additional anti-retaliation protections. See Retaliatory Performance Appraisals and Whistleblowers.