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Letter of Complaint Regarding a Superior

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 17 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
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It can be hard to write a letter of complaint regarding a superior, after all many people fear that to say anything negative about those in higher positions might mean negative repercussions to their own careers. But when anyone acts inappropriately in the workplace, regardless of their position, these behaviours should be documented. A letter of complaint regarding a superior should simply state the details of the complaint and possibly an explanation of how it affected the people involved. This type of letter should be formatted as a formal letter.

Content of a Letter of Complaint Regarding a Superior

A letter of complaint regarding a superior should clearly and professionally report the details of the complaint. To make the most impact, certain facts including names, dates, locations and witnesses may need to be included. However, some organisations have complaint forms for employees so a letter may only need to accompany the form. If this is the case then the letter is simply a cover letter advising that attached are details of a complaint against a particular person or concerning a particular type of behaviour. For the most part either type of letter is sent to those who deal with company complaints rather than to the person directly involved or his or her superiors, however an organisation's policies will ultimately determine the submission of a letter of complaint regarding a superior.

Format of a Letter of Complaint Regarding a Superior

A letter of complaint regarding a superior should be formatted formally, however as an interoffice letter it does not need to include details such as the mailing addresses of the writer and recipient. Instead it should include both the name and job title of the writer and recipient as well as formal salutations and closing. The signature of the writer should be included as well. Since this letter is being sent from a single person, rather than representing the beliefs of an entire organisation, it should be printed on plain rather than organisational letterhead. Delivery via interoffice post is fine, unless there are clear procedures in place regarding how to submit complaints. If this is the case then these procedures should be followed.

Sample of a Letter of Complaint Regarding a Superior

Ms. Rita Cisneros
Job Title


Ms. Angela Mann
Job Title

Dear Ms. Mann,

As per [Organisation]'s policies, please consider this letter a formal complaint against [Name] for [Reason for Complaint].

On [Date], [Name] caused a scene at [Location] that included [Details of Incident]. Throughout this event, [Name] also repeatedly told everyone within earshot that (s)he would [Details of Threats]. [Name], [Name] and [Name] also witnessed this incident.

It is my opinion that these behaviours do not conform to [Organisation]'s policies of appropriate workplace behaviour as set out in Chapter Three of the Employee Handbook. I feel personally threatened by [Name]'s behaviour and because of this believe that I have been bullied and harassed. I am aware that lodging a complaint against [Name] will require a formal investigation and I am prepared to participate as needed.

If you require further details of this incident or which to discuss my complaint further please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Rita Cisneros

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