How to Word a Hostile Workplace Grievance

Employees have a right to work in a hostility free environment.
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As an employee, you may periodically encounter moments of conflict in the workplace. If the conflict escalates, it can result in a hostile workplace. Most employers have a conflict resolution policy that allows you to file a formal complaint, also referred to as a grievance. Before filing a hostile workplace grievance, speak with your immediate supervisor to resolve the issue. If your immediate supervisor fails to address the matter, you have the green light to file a formal complaint with upper management.

    Step 1

    Keep the wording for your grievance professional. Simply state the facts. Although you are understandably upset about the situation, leave your emotions out of it. Refrain from using abusive or harsh language.

    Step 2

    Mention in the first paragraph that the purpose of your correspondence is to file a hostile work environment grievance. You can even go so far as to say that the grievance is only being filed as a last resort. This let's management know that you are not trying to be a troublemaker.

    Step 3

    Use the next few paragraphs to mention specific incidents that have contributed to the hostile work environment. For example, mention the guilty party's name, the date and time of the incident, the details of what happened, your response to the incident and witness names.

    Step 4

    List the names of management you spoke to about the hostile work environment. Include the dates you spoke with management and management's response. This proves that you did your due diligence before filing a grievance. It shows you didn't attempt to go over your supervisor or manager's head.

    Step 5

    Mention how you would like to see the issue resolved. For instance, you may ask to be transferred to a different team or department. Perhaps you want the guilty party transferred or terminated. Although management is not obligated to resolve the issue according to your exact terms, you may just get your desired outcome.

    Step 6

    Close your grievance letter by asking for a followup meeting to further discuss the investigation or the proposed resolution to your complaint. Include your best contact number. If you work for a large employer, it's a good idea to also list your schedule and department.

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