How to write a letter of complaint about your boss

Updated July 20, 2017

Considered a legal document, a letter of complaint is necessary to record a claim and a request for action, according to a Colorado State University website article. Writing a letter of complaint about your boss may be nerve-racking, especially if you believe you could end up losing your job. However, as long as you believe your complaint is valid, you have the right to inform your boss's superiors of your concerns and request they take action to resolve them.

Write the letter in draft first. This will allow you to concentrate on the relevant information for the letter without worrying about grammar and spelling. If you do not want to write a full letter in draft, jot down the important information in note form. Writing notes should ensure you do not forget any important information.

Find out the name of the person you need to write to and his official job title; this person should be your boss's superior. If you work for a small firm, write to the owner; if it is a large company, write to the managing director or vice president. Whoever it is needs to be senior management, as this will influence your chances of having your complaint dealt with satisfactorily, advises Colorado State University. Put the person's name and company address on the left-hand side of the letter, along with the date. Your name and address should go on the right-hand side along with your contact telephone number.

Explain the reason for your complaint in a calm and logical manner. It is important you get across the problem as clearly as possible. Ensure you name your boss and her position within the company. Do not embellish or exaggerate the truth, stick to the facts and avoid making accusations. You need to give a professional impression, as descending into insults may mean your complaint receives nothing more than an automated response in return, warns Tom Mitchelson in a 2010 Daily Mail article.

Provide proof if you have it. Include all evidence you believe will back your complaint. For example, if your boss has sent threatening e-mails, send a copy of these with your letter. Ensure anything you send is a photocopy and keep the original. If the evidence is verbal, such as threatening phone calls, send details such as dates and times of calls as well as a transcript of the conversation.

Inform the recipient politely that you would like appropriate action taken in order to resolve the conflict between you and your boss. Highlight the fact you have followed procedure and you would like updating regularly on what is happening. Request an acknowledgement to your complaint as well as a probable time frame for any investigation. It is important you do not talk about potential punishment. Offering unsolicited advice will give management the opinion your complaint is sour grapes.

Write up your letter neatly and using all the information from your notes. Sign the letter with "Yours sincerely" followed by your name, employee number and department underneath. Be careful to look for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Once your letter is finished, read it out aloud, as this will help you spot ambiguous words or sentence structure.


A written letter gives a better impression than an e-mail or phone call, advises Tom Mitchelson for the Daily Mail.

Write the envelope neatly and in the same pen you wrote the letter, and write "private and confidential" in the top left corner.


For peace of mind, send the letter with the tracking. This will ensure an official record of the letter as well as the time and date of posting.

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About the Author

Residing in Blackpool, U.K., J.L Grayson-Avery has been writing since 1999. As a reporter her articles have appeared in "The Blackpool Gazette" and "Blackpool E" magazine. Grayson-Avery received a Higher National Diploma in journalism from Glasgow University.