How to word a grievance for a hostile workplace with a supervisor

Written by faizah imani
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According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, every employee has a right to work in an environment that is free of hostility. When you have a supervisor who ignores that right and continues to create a hostile workplace environment, you can take steps to prevent it. By submitting a grievance letter to your company's human resources or employee relations department, you can invoke change. In order to prevent a lawsuit, your employer is likely to address and correct the hostile workplace environment swiftly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Include the date at the top of the grievance letter. By including the date the grievance letter is submitted, you can prove that the employer had ample amount of time to respond to your grievance.

  2. 2

    State your name on the grievance as well as the name of the supervisor in question.

  3. 3

    Immediately provide the reason the letter is being written is to express a grievance. Begin your letter, for instance, like this" " I, Jane Doe, am writing this letter to express a grievance with my supervisor, John Doe."

  4. 4

    State specifically what the grievance is about. For example, "Due to the behaviours of John Doe, a hostile workplace environment has been created for me." From there, clearly spell out the behaviours that have led to your grievance

  5. 5

    Include whether you have spoken with your supervisor about the hostile workplace environment he has created. Provide the date, details and any outcome of the conversation if you spoke with your supervisor.

  6. 6

    State how the hostile working environment has made you feel. Write, for example: "Because of this hostile working environment that has been created, my morale as an employee has greatly diminished. I feel like John Doe does not like me and does not want me working on his team."

  7. 7

    List as many detailed examples as possible of your supervisor's hostile actions toward you. Each example should include who, what, where, why and when. The "who,", of course, will be John Doe. State what he did to you. State where the incident happened, such as a break room, in your office or in the employee car park. State why you feel he did it. State the specific date and times that each incident occurred.

  8. 8

    Provide the names of any employees who have witnessed the supervisor's hostile behaviour toward you. If an employee is willing to testify about what he has witnessed, provide that information.

  9. 9

    Mention any specific action you would like to see take place as a result of your grievance. Write, for example, "I would like to be transferred to another supervisor's team." or "I would like to be transferred to another department/office."

  10. 10

    Make a copy of your grievance letter before submitting it to your employer. Keep the copy for your own records in case you need to reference it in the future.

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