How to Write a Grievance Letter for Wrongful Termination


If you feel your employer wrongfully terminated you, filing a grievance for the purpose of reinstatement is an option. If you are a union member, a union representative may handle your case and will seek to bring your case to arbitration. If not, you can still file a grievance, but it may require hiring an attorney.

Things You'll Need

  • Employee handbook
  • Notice or letter of dismissal
  • Company representative contact information

Union Employees

  • Contact your union representative immediately to tell her of your wrongful termination. Verify her contact information. You may only have a few days to file a grievance, so acting quickly is essential.

  • Request a copy of the collective bargaining agreement in the first paragraph of your letter.

  • Describe your role at the company in the second paragraph, including your tenure, and succinctly describe the incident or incidents that led to your dismissal. For example: "I complained to my supervisor about a co-worker who created an unsafe working environment. Repeated complaints went ignored, and I was fired for 'not being a team player.'"

  • Note in the third paragraph that you believe termination should only apply for "just cause" and your actions could not be described as "just cause."

  • Request that the union file a grievance on your behalf; also request that the representative inform you of the outcome of your request by a certain date.

  • Review, sign and date the letter. Use certified mail for proof of delivery.

Non-Union Members

  • Review the employee handbook to determine if your dismissal is a breach of contract or wrongful termination; handbooks routinely include descriptions of "just cause" terminations.

  • Review the dispute resolution procedure, if there is one. If so, proceed according to the directions given in the handbook.

  • Contact an employee relations attorney and verbally describe your case.

  • Write the attorney a brief, factual description of the events surrounding your termination. Note that you believe the company did not have just cause to terminate you according to the provisions in the employee handbook.

  • Sign, date and mail the letter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your comments unemotional, succinct and factual. Keep documentation that backs up your assertions in a safe place. Hire an attorney if you're not represented by a union delegate.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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