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How to Construct a Complaint Letter to HR

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Sending a complaint letter to HR is an important step in documenting a serious workplace issue. In addition to alerting HR to the problem, your letter provides a record of your complaint. Your complaint is more likely to get the attention it deserves if you briefly state the facts and carefully proofread your letter for factual, spelling and grammatical errors.

State the Problem

Begin the letter by briefly stating the problem. For example, “I am concerned about unsafe conditions in the accounting department.” If your human resources manual details how employees should approach complaints, mention this fact. You might write, “As mandated by HR policy, I have discussed this matter with my supervisor on several occasions, but no action has been taken to address the problem.” Explain that as per company policy, you are now registering a formal complaint and would like HR to investigate the situation.

Detail the Problem

Explain the problem in detail. The HR Zone website suggests splitting the complaint into bullet points that cover the different aspects of your grievance. One bullet point might mention the date that water began leaking into the accounting department, along with the action you took to report the leak. Another might list the date that an employee slipped on the wet floor, while another might mention the mold problem that is the cause of employee health problems. Explain what you did to report or remedy the situation and attach copies of emails, correspondence or other supporting materials, including lists of witnesses to any events.

Propose a Solution

Explain what you would like the company to do to address the problem. In the case of a leaky, moldy office, you might ask that the department be moved to another location while the roof is fixed and the mold removed. If the complaint involves difficulties with co-workers, you might request a meeting to clearly detail individual responsibilities or duties. Although the company doesn’t have to implement your solution, it’s important to let HR know that you have put considerable thought into the problem and are invested in the outcome.

Request a Reply

End the letter by asking that HR acknowledge receipt of your letter in writing. A written reply provides evidence that your complaint was received. Mention that you are available to meet with HR to discuss the problem in more detail if needed. State that you would like to receive a response explaining what HR will do to remedy the problem in 30 days or in the time limit noted in your HR handbook. Mention that you expect your complaint to be handled discreetly and confidentially. Thank HR for its consideration of the matter and provide your contact information.


Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field.

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