How to Write an Appeal Letter Against a Grievance at Work

Appeal letters should follow the style and look of a professional business letter.
Appeal letters should follow the style and look of a professional business letter. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A grievance is issued when one worker has a complaint or dispute against another for his work practices or behavior. The grievance can be the result of dissatisfaction with job performance, misbehavior during a specific incident or anything that causes a manager, co-worker or client to suffer mentally, physically or financially. A person receiving a grievance against him is entitled to appeal it in writing with his employer. A carefully written letter can allow an unfair or unjust complaint to be reconsidered or dismissed from a worker’s file.

Things You'll Need

  • Employee handbook
  • Word processing program

Review your employee handbook. Note any references that can support your appeal. For example, if you were cited for smoking during a break but your employment handbook specifies that breaks are permissible, underline the passage to cite in your letter. Look for instructions on how to properly address your letter. The handbook should detail whether such notices are to be submitted to the manager, the human resources director or the corporate office. Some companies and unions require appeal forms to be completed and submitted. Follow your company’s grievance procedure instructions.

Open a word-processor document using a professional business-letter template and fill in your address and information. Address the letter using your employer’s mailing address. If your employee handbook does not specify how to address your introduction or to whom, address it to the manager who reported the grievance against you.

Begin the appeal letter by typing “Please consider this letter an appeal of the grievance that was issued against me on [insert date].” Briefly describe the grievance as it was told or issued to you. Start a second paragraph and offer arguments why you feel the grievance is unjust. Cite other co-workers who were present at the time of the alleged complaint and are willing to support your side of the story. Cite company policy if it supports your appeal. End the letter by typing “Sincerely, [Your Name]” and signing your name.

Have your letter notarized and make copies. Submit the original, notarized copy to your manager or human-resources director or to the corporate office as advised in the employee handbook. Request that the letter be placed in your employee file.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use strong language or emotional words in your letter. Keep it professional.

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