Response To Complaint About Employee:
Prior to responding to a complaint about an employee, make sure you understand the
facts. Talk to anyone involved in the incident as well as the employee accused of
misconduct. In the scenario which is the basis for the sample email below, two
employees disagreed about the release of a check. The disagreement escalated into
yelling that disrupted the workplace. The sample response below can either be used as
an example of how you might document what you did as a supervisor to respond to this
situation or could be used as follow-up documentation of your face-to-face discussion
with the employee at fault.
On Friday, June 1, I received a call from Claire Brown, Chief of the Accounting Office,
who reported that you engaged in an excessively loud and disruptive disagreement with
Maggie Smith regarding whether or not a check was ready for release. After
interviewing you, Maggie Smith and another witness, I determined that you disagreed
so strongly with Ms. Smith that you demanded she release the check and then yelled at
her when she advised you that it was not ready for release.
This encounter occurred at the reception desk in front of other Accounting Office staff
and your yelling could be heard throughout the work area. Ms. Smith revealed that she
felt intimidated, embarrassed and no longer wants to interact with you.
It is critical that you understand that I expect all members of my staff to engage in polite
and courteous interactions with everyone with whom they come into contact while they
are working. It is unacceptable and unprofessional to interact with others in a manner
that can be viewed as intimidating, threatening, or otherwise rude or discourteous.
Further, if you believe that a process is incorrect, or incorrectly interpreted, you are to
elevate your concerns to a supervisor for resolution if it cannot be adequately resolved
at your level.
I understand from my discussion with you that you do not believe that your actions were
intimidating. Please understand that when you respond to people by yelling or even in a
loud and demanding voice, it can be perceived as intimidating. I expect you to be polite,
courteous and to elevate any problems that cannot be resolved with your co-workers to