What is an Employee Complaint Form?
An Employee Complaint Form is used to document grievances and complaints regarding inappropriate conduct and activity witnessed or experienced in a workplace. It is presented to the human resource department as part of a systematic and formal process of handling an issue within the workspace. An Employee Complaint Form helps to document an incident to properly address any problems and find possible solutions.
What is an employee complaint or grievance?
An employee complaint could be filed as an individual, group or union, depending on the effect of the misconduct in the workplace. Most frequently, individual grievances are filed by a person who has experienced or witnessed an unacceptable incident.
Why file an Employee Complaint Form?
Several reasons cause an employee to file a complaint to the human resource department of his or her employer, which usually falls under individual grievances as most of it also applies to the other types of grievances. The following are the common reasons why an employee complaint form is filed:
- Physical harassment which is categorized by bodily harm, physical threats, hostile behavior, and the destruction of property — situations that cause intimidation.
- Discriminatory harassment happens through verbal discrimination on differences such as religion, sexual orientation, and race.
- Personal harassment which includes offensive jokes, inappropriate comments, and humiliation.
- Sexual harassment which is disrespecting the personal space of an employee, giving inappropriate sexual innuendos, and other situations that are considered sexual.
- Other situations are cyberbullying, retaliation, sexual harassment, and theft.
How to fill out an Employee Complaint Form?
An Employee Complaint Form requires only a few brief information but an elaborate description of the complaint itself. It is important to provide a true and accurate narration of the incident you are reporting.
Enter your full legal name.
Enter the date you are submitting the complaint form.
Enter your position in the company.
Enter the department you are under.
Enter your active contact number.
Enter your active email address.
Nature of Complaint
Enter what the complaint is about. Some types of complaints are harassment, extortion, and theft.
Enter the details of the event and what happened. Explain briefly and accurately.
Date and Time
Enter the date and time when the incident happened.
Enter where the event happened.
Enter the names of the people who may stand as witnesses.
Enter your suggested response to the complaint or any solution you wanted to see.
In some instances, letting your department manager or any immediate superior know of the incident, as well as an HR employee in resolving the issue, helps and would not need filing the form anymore. However, if this type of attempt to resolve the problem does not work, you could proceed filing an Employee Complaint Form.
What can filing an Employee Complaint Form do?
Submitting an Employee Complaint Form would mainly help in making the company and the HR department know what issues or problems are happening within the workplace. This would prevent simple disagreements and discomfort among employees from escalating. It is also a way of communication between the employer and its employees, creating a safe space within the company, allowing the company to resolve any complaints immediately.
Tips when writing an employee complaint
A part of the Employee Complaint Form that includes the description of the incident should be direct and accurate. The following are reminders when writing the complaint to make it formal and structured, especially when you are looking forward to a productive outcome:
In a workplace, courtesy and manners are important traits to uphold. This should also be applied even when writing a complaint letter. Also, observe writing properly, keeping it short and straightforward. For most companies, a brief but precise complaint letter averaging to 500 words or less is more likely to be given attention and resolved faster.
- Explain the problem clearly.
Some complaints or cases are inevitably complex and long. However, this should not be a problem if you know how to express your thoughts accordingly. It is advisable to highlight important details, and get straight to the point without leaving out the essential ones. Use simple words that would make the readers understand your point.
- Avoid offensive language.
It is considerable that a complaint letter is highly subjective. It is a personal description of a certain incident you identify as misconduct. As previously mentioned, keep your manners and avoid being too emotional which may cause you to use offensive language or descriptions. More importantly, do not use profanities in your complaint.
When and where to file an employee complaint?
Filing an employee complaint does not necessarily require the incident to be reported as soon as possible. The complaint would still be valid despite the time interval. Submit it to the HR Department of your employer. You may also inform your department head before filing an employee complaint.
Processing an employee complaint
Upon receiving your complaint, the HR Department follows a procedure in processing your case. The following are the steps usually used in solving an employee complaint.
- Communication with you, the complainant, to discuss the concern.
- Providing the employee alleged to have caused the misconduct, a copy of the complaint.
- Arrangement of a formal meeting with you and the accused.
- Investigation of the complaint. A professional investigation involving a third party may take place if needed.
- Keeping the employees informed and updated all throughout the process.
- Discussion of the formal decision or resolution.
- Taking appropriate actions to come up with a final decision.
- Dealing with appeals and further investigation.
- Keeping of records.
During the process of solving the issue, you have the right to refuse to attend formal meetings and appeal to the final decision. The alleged party, on the other hand, has the right to respond and defend from the allegations and appeal to the final decision as well.
The process may vary depending on the nature of the case and its severity. When the alleged employee is found guilty, a disciplinary procedure may take place.