French High Court Rules On Employee Evaluation Ranking By Quota

In a recent decision, the French high court ruled on the legality of employee evaluations with ranking by quotas.

Q. How does the ranking by quota method work?

A. This method consists in the classification of employees in categories according to imperative quotas fixed in advance. The method proposed by a Hewlett Packard France’s manager was challenged because it was based on predefined quotas requiring the assessor to classify employees into groups based on percentages determined in advance and to allocate to at least 5% of them a poor score even if all employees had fulfilled their objectives.

Q. What did the high Court rule?

A. In this specific case, the high Court dismissed the trade unions and the Works Council’s appeal as the method of ranking by quotas was not in fact applied. The High Court however specified the criteria to be fulfilled by an evaluation method in order to be legal:

To be legal, an evaluation method must have been communicated in advance to the employees who have to be aware of its criteria and the criteria used must be both objective and transparent.

Consequently, the use of an evaluation method based on the allocation of preset quotas to employee groups is illegal.

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