Workplace Retaliation Sample Letter

Employees have the legal right to take such actions as:

  • Filing complaints about workplace harassment or discrimination
  • Reporting unsafe workplace conditions
  • Cooperating with investigators looking into unsafe or illegal practices

Those are just a few examples. If an employee takes such actions, their employer cannot retaliate against them.

Unfortunately, workplace retaliation does occur. Do you believe you have been the target of such mistreatment? If so, it is wise to notify HR before proceeding to take legal action.

You should begin by sending a letter to HR outlining your concerns. This guide will explain how to do so.

What To Include In A Retaliation Letter 

A typical workplace retaliation letter should follow this basic format:

  • Introduction: Ensure your subject line clearly summarizes the content of the letter. Your goal is to capture the attention of your HR representative. Next, begin by stating your name, your position at the company, and, if you feel it’s relevant, how long you have been working there. Segue into the body of the letter by stating you have reason to believe you have been the target of illegal workplace retaliation:
  • Body: It is very important to maintain a professional tone throughout the letter. Although it may be necessary to describe how your emotional wellbeing has suffered due to your experiences, you should not allow anger to influence your tone. In the body of the letter, the goal is to clearly, thoroughly, and honestly describe the specific experiences you’ve dealt with. 
  • Conclusion: End your retaliation letter by explaining how you wish to proceed. This may involve asking to meet with HR to discuss the matter in greater detail.

It is important that you avoid making any threats when writing a retaliation letter. Even if you plan on taking legal action, you should not word your letter in a manner that suggests you are threatening the company in any way.

Sample Workplace Retaliation Letter 

Dear [HR representative’s name],

I am [your name and a description of your role at the company]. I’m writing because, after [describe the nature of the legal action you engaged in, such as filing a harassment complaint], I have experienced what I believe qualifies as illegal workplace retaliation. Specific examples of mistreatment I have experienced are as follows:

  • My performance reviews in the past were always quite positive. Ever since I [describe the legal action you engaged in], my performance reviews have been negative. I disagree that my performance has declined.
  • After [legal action], my supervisor has begun assigning me undesirable work tasks that are outside of my job description.
  • I was set to earn a promotion. After [legal action], my supervisor changed their mind and awarded the promotion to a coworker with less experience.

If you would like, I can gather supporting documentation and answer any questions you may have for me. I wish to meet with HR to discuss how we may proceed. Thank you again for your time.


[Your Name]

Get Help With Your Retaliation Claim 

Although reporting your concerns to HR is an important step to take when you have experienced retaliation in the workplace, it is also essential to understand that HR may fail to appropriately remedy the issue.

If HR does not take proper action, you should strongly consider meeting with a workplace retaliation lawyer for more information about your legal options. Get started today by completing the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to get connected and speak with an employment attorney

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