While minor conflicts can occur in the workplace, some situations may not pan out in your favor. You might initiate your employer’s appeals process to convince the powers-that-be to reconsider actions that negatively impact you.
In the flurry of emotions, it’s tempting to channel every thought about the incident into your writing. However, failing to properly format your letter is a serious mistake that could cost you. Since your appeal letter can either make or break your case, you need to compose a clear, professional message in an easy-to-read format.
Fortunately, our appeal letter format contains essential structure and content advice. Follow our tips to craft a document that effectively presents your argument and improves the chances of your appeal being successful.
Appeal Letter Format
Below you’ll read an appeal letter from Cameron Thomas. He’s writing his former employer’s human resources department to contest his termination. His supervisor told him that the company was letting him go because he was “not a good fit.” However, Cameron feels he has evidence that he was wrongfully terminated. Although he’s upset about losing his job, he keeps a clear head and uses best practices to compose and structure his document.
Sun City Imports released me from my position as Sales Specialist on May 19, 2017. The Director of Sales, Jason DeMarco, informed me that Sun City was terminating my employment because I was not a good fit. Since he did this without any prior warnings, which does not follow the dismissal policy detailed on page 30 of Camelback Auto Group’s employee handbook, I am requesting an appeal.
In my three years with Sun City, I have consistently exceeded monthly individual sales goals and received numerous sales awards, including Salesperson of the Year in 2017. My performance also contributed to a $750,000 revenue increase for the dealership during the 2017 fiscal year. Moreover, I earned “A” ratings on all my performance reviews during my tenure.
Management has never documented poor job performance or policy violations on my part. Since Mr. DeMarco took over in February, he has not conducted any reviews nor has he informed me of any disciplinary or performance problems. When I asked for additional details, performance reviews, or other evidence to support his decision to end my employment, he provided me with no such documentation.
I’ve attached copies of every performance review conducted for me, plus records of my sales earnings and awards. I humbly request a review of the evidence and reinstatement to my former position as Sales Specialist.
Is This a Good Appeal Letter Format? Let’s Check
1. Does our letter writer open with a professional greeting?
Yes, he does. Professionalism and poise start with the first words you compose, and addressing your letter properly is the first step. Just as this individual has done, review your employer’s grievance procedures and make sure you identify the correct staff member to receive your letter.
2. Is the reason for the writer’s appeal request evident in the first paragraph?
Absolutely! This appeal letter format example illustrates how to effectively begin your own message by getting down to the basic facts right away. First, he gives the date that the company terminated his employment and explains the reason his supervisor offered for the dismissal. Next, he details that the employer did not follow its own policy by failing to issue disciplinary write-ups before it let him go.
3. Has the writer included relevant facts in the body of the letter?
Affirmative. The writer documents his exceptional job performance by mentioning that he’s consistently beat the dealership’s sales targets, then briefly mentions the awards he’s won and how he’s benefited the company with a large revenue increase. Furthermore, he adds that he’s never received any write-ups, negative reviews, or other proof of poor job performance. Finally, he details that his supervisor did not issue any warnings or notices to him prior to termination nor gave any other supporting evidence for the decision.
4. Does the writer enclose documents that support his claim?
Definitely! After laying out his case, he refers to pieces of evidence proving that what he says about his job record is true. Depending on your own circumstances, this might include copies of performance reviews, communications from coworkers or management, reports containing your productivity metrics, or other documents that corroborate your case.
5. Is the letter’s tone respectful and professional?
Unquestionably so. While our example ex-employee has solidly built his case for wrongful termination through his careful documentation, he’s also chosen his words carefully. He stuck to the facts and avoided maudlin or vitriolic verbiage. Furthermore, he reviewed his message to spot any grammar, spelling, and clarity issues before submitting it to his human resources department.
The Most Important Appeal Letter Format Takeaways
After examining our appeal letter format, you should now understand some guiding principles in crafting your own communication. Your text must exhibit a calm tone from greeting to closing, steering clear of dramatic language or caustic barbs. Your opening paragraph needs to briefly summarize your situation and cite the basic reasons for your appeal. Next, follow up your claim with a comprehensible, concise review of facts that support your case. Don’t forget to mention any attached documents within your letter, and be sure to proofread for errors prior to sending.
By following your company’s appeal policies and submitting a polished and professionally written letter, you’ll deliver a clear argument and increase your chances of obtaining the results you desire.