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How to Format an Employee Complaint Letter to the Company You Work For


Issues at work can creep up at any time, including problems with co-workers or with the working conditions around you. Written letters of complaint to a boss or supervisor provide paper evidence that you’ve given a formal complaint as well as how and when you’d like to the problem to be solved. Complaint letters written by an employee to his employer are generally formatted like a standard business letter with a formal and polite tone throughout.

Open your computer’s word processing software to a new blank document. At the top left, type the word “From” followed by a colon and your full name. Enter down and type your full job title. Move down a line and write the complete name of the business or company for which you work. Enter down one more time and type the city and state in which the company is located.

Skip two lines and type the word “To” followed by a colon and the full name of your direct supervisor. Enter down and type your supervisor’s full job title, such as “Project Manager” or “Department Supervisor.” Include the business name and location below the supervisor's name.

Scroll down two lines and type the full date, such as “September 1, 2011.” Click down another two lines and type out a formal salutation, such as “Dear Mr. Jones” or simply “Mr. Jones” immediately followed by a comma.

Begin the first paragraph of your letter by stating your complaint. Address the complaint immediately and provide additional information about the problem, such as how long it has been going on and what you’ve tried to do to fix it. For example, if you’re writing to complain about a broken elevator, you can write, “This letter is written in regards to the broken elevator in the south wing of the building. Despite numerous conversations with maintenance, this elevator has been out of service for more than three weeks and has created multiple obstacles for our staff.”

Start a second paragraph to further explore the complaint. Explain exactly why the problem is a problem at all and how it is hindering you or others while on the job. For example, you can explain, “In the past three weeks, this faulty elevator has been problematic not only for our delivery men when delivering large and heavy parcels, but also for our handicapped clients who have been forced to take another elevator to gain wheelchair accessibility.”

Write a concluding paragraph indicating how you’d like the problem to be solved and when. Be reasonable in your requests and don’t demand anything or be rude. Explicitly thank your supervisor for reading the letter and for his time. For example, “Despite this being a busy time of year for the company, I feel it is extremely necessary that the elevator be repaired as soon as possible for the sake and convenience of our employees and clients. I appreciate you looking into this and helping rectifying this issue.”

Enter down two lines and type “Sincerely” immediately followed by a comma. Scroll down four lines and type your full name again. Print off your letter and sign your name in pen in the space between “Sincerely” and your full name.

About the Author

Dan Richter began freelance writing in 2006. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Wausau Daily Herald," "Stevens Point Journal," "Central Wisconsin Business Magazine" and the "Iowa City Press-Citizen." Richter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies.

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