How to File a Complaint Against a Government Employee

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Many individuals are employed by federal, state and local governments to work in various departments and agencies. Although government workers strive to serve their clients and constituents well, sometimes an individual has reason to believe he was not treated fairly by a government employee. A complaint can be effective to help rectify the situation or to bring the matter to the employee's and their employer's attention. The following steps will provide some guidelines in filing a complaint against a government employee.

  • Compile as much information as possible on the government employee. For example, find out his name, what department or agency he works for, whether he's a federal, state or local government employee, the date the violation occurred, the phone number and address of his office and the reason for the complaint.

  • Search for the contact information of her employer. Use the USA.gov website to find the phone number and address of the government employee's office. Search for her department or agency using the "Federal Government", "State Government" and "Local Government" links. Once you are directed to the appropriate department or agency website, click the "Contact Us" to find their phone number and address.

  • Contact the department or agency of the government employee. Explain the situation and provide the information you compiled. Ask for a case number and the name of the representative working on the case so you can follow up on the complaint. If you prefer to complain in writing, ask for the name of the person who should receive the complaint and confirm the address you found online. This will allow you to personalize the letter and to follow up with that individual at a later time.

  • Mail your complaint to the appropriate department or agency for review. Some people may prefer to complain both in writing and on the phone to elicit a response and to make sure the complaint is handled appropriately. Address the letter to the name of the individual you obtained during the phone call and include the information you gathered on the government employee.

  • Review the status of your complaint. Contact the government department or agency handling your complaint within a few weeks to learn of the outcome. Present the case number you received from the representative working on the case. If you filed in writing, remind them of the complaint letter you sent.

  • Seek legal assistance if needed. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in ethics or civil rights violations to determine if your complaint requires it. Bring the information you compiled and any information you received from the representative working on the case. Explain the situation to the lawyer.

References

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