Social Security Administration employees who have received lower performance ratings from their managers without any advance notice that their performance was declining may be able to get their ratings reversed. Arbitrator Linda Johnson has found that SSA violated its national collective bargaining agreement with AFGE by lowering an employee’s annual performance rating in a particular job element without first notifying the employee that her performance expectations were being changed or providing the employee with any advance notice that she was in danger of receiving a lower rating. The arbitrator also noted that the Personnel Policy Manual Standards used by management to determine employee performance levels are too vague to allow for objective performance reviews. The employee was represented by Louetta Keene, Vice President for AFGE Local 1164 in Lowell, Mass.

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