Should I Sign a Write-Up or Bad Evaluation at Work?

Why you should sign your write-up or bad evaluation even though every word is UNTRUE.

You are called into a meeting with a representative of your employer, such as your manager, supervisor, or HR Director.  They accuse you of doing something you didn’t do.

You try to explain your side.  You didn’t do what your being accused of doing.  It’s a complete lie.  The person writing you up is just trying to make a case to get rid of you.  It’s just plain wrong.

Your employer listens to you but they’re unmoved by your explanations.  You’re being written up.

And then …….  they tell you to sign the write up or bad evaluation.

Should You Sign It?

Typically, most employees won’t want to sign.  They feel that signing is an admission of guilt or confirmation of the truth of what is in the report.

Unfortunately, by not signing the write up or bad evaluation, you may actually be giving your employer cause, meaning a reason, to terminate you.

Not following an instruction of your employer can be considered insubordination, and insubordination is grounds for termination.  This sounds crazy, right?

By signing you are only confirming receipt. 

When you sign a write up, or even an annual evaluation you disagree with, you are only signing to acknowledge that you received the document.

In fact, you may sign your name and, just below, you may write “I am confirming receipt and do not agree with what’s being stated.”

Yes, they can make up a lie and write you up. 

And, yes, your employer can write you up for just about anything they want, whether it’s true or not.  They don’t need a reason to terminate you.  They don’t need to ‘build a case against you’.

Many employers feel more comfortable by having a policy, for example, of immediate termination after three write ups.  Even though this is their own policy, they feel more justified in these seemingly objective standard for bringing down the axe.

An employee’s only protection in the workplace is his or her civil rights protections.

Your employer is allowed to write you up for chewing gum; they’re not allowed to write you up for chewing gum IF the underlying reason is because of your age, race, gender, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, religion, pregnancy or having taken a pregnancy or disability leave.  Under that circumstance, their conduct would be illegal and it would constitute a civil rights violation.

Look for Another Job OR Call a Lawyer

If you are just plain being written up for a bogus reason unconnected to a civil rights violation, then do yourself a favor and read the writing on the wall.  You won’t be working there much longer.  Start looking for another job.

But, if the basis of your write up is due to a civil rights violation (such as those mentioned above), then sign the write up, don’t quit your job, and call a lawyer.  In that order.