How to write a rebuttal letter to an employer

Written by elizabeth carrillo
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How to write a rebuttal letter to an employer
Do not send an angry rebuttal letter to an employer. (boss shouting image by Kit Wai Chan from

A rebuttal letter to an employer needs to be both well-thought-out and well-written. An employee may need to write a rebuttal letter to his employer in response to a performance review, or because of some other event or action at work that the employer felt needed to be written up for the employee's file. Though hurt feelings or frustration may be present, it is important to make a rebuttal letter measured in tone.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Employee manual
  • Job description

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  1. 1

    Take time to reflect on what to say in the letter. Do not jump into it immediately. Take a day or two to talk about the issue with trusted family or friends.

  2. 2

    Write a draft of the letter. Because it is a draft, feel free to put everything in, whether it is appropriate or not for the rebuttal. Do not send the draft letter.

  3. 3

    Review the draft. Show the draft letter to trusted family or friends to review for spelling and grammar errors, and to make sure that the tone of the letter is professional. If the rebuttal letter involves quoting specific sections from the employee policy manual or from a job description, reread them thoroughly. Make any necessary adjustments to the draft to reflect the exact language of the employee manual or job description.

  4. 4

    Shape the final version of the draft letter to craft a measured yet clear rebuttal to the original points brought up by the employer in his letter. Remove inappropriate or inflammatory language. Keep the letter focused on the matter at hand, and use first-person "I" statements. Do not use general statements such as "The whole department feels the same way" or "Everyone knows what the real situation is." Though you have to be accountable for your actions, do not take responsibility for an action or event if there's no need to. If you are being unjustly accused of participation of an event or action, professionally show the employer why he is incorrect.

  5. 5

    Keep the rebuttal to a maximum of two pages. A one-page rebuttal is ideal. Review the final draft, and check to see if any more can be cut out of the letter. A long-winded rebuttal to an employer is not welcome. Every sentence should be there for a reason.

  6. 6

    Send the rebuttal letter to the employer. Do not demand an immediate response.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep a copy of the rebuttal letter for your files.

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