Formal Complaint Letter Against Coworker: How To Draft It Right!

Key Takeaways:

  • Purpose: Writing a formal complaint letter against a coworker is essential for addressing workplace issues professionally.
  • Structure: A well-organized structure, including a clear introduction, body, and conclusion, makes the complaint effective.
  • Details: Clearly outline the issue, providing specific details and examples.
  • Template: Utilize a template to maintain professionalism and cover all necessary points.
  • Follow-up: Always ensure you have a follow-up plan in place to address the outcome of your complaint.


Workplace harmony is crucial for productivity and a positive environment. However, at times, disputes and misunderstandings with coworkers are inevitable. Addressing these issues professionally through a formal complaint letter is essential to finding a resolution. 

In this article, we will guide you step-by-step on crafting a compelling and effective formal complaint letter against a coworker, accompanied by a versatile template.

Latina woman sitting at a vintage desk, with a visibly upset expression as she writes a letter.” Letter

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Step 1: Preparation

Before penning down the letter, gather all relevant information and evidence regarding the issue with the coworker. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the events and facts to communicate your concerns accurately.

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List of Preparatory Actions:

  • Document the incidents causing concern.
  • Collect evidence, if applicable, such as emails or messages.
  • Be clear about the resolution you expect.

Step 2: Structuring the Letter

The structure of your letter should be formal and well-organized, consisting of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Start with a salutation, introduce the issue, detail the problems, and conclude with the desired action or resolution.

Letter Structure:

  • Salutation: Address the letter to the appropriate authority.
  • Introduction: Briefly introduce the issue.
  • Body: Detailed account of the issue.
  • Conclusion: Summarize and state the desired outcome.

Step 3: Writing the Letter

The tone of the letter should remain professional and respectful. Clearly articulate your concerns, providing specific examples and emphasizing the impact of the coworker’s behavior.

Key Points to Include in the Letter:

  • Specific incidents caused the complaint.
  • Dates and times of when the incidents occurred.
  • Your feelings and the impact of the coworker’s actions

Step 4: Using a Template

Utilize a template to ensure that the letter is professionally formatted and all necessary points are covered. See below for a template that you can customize according to your situation.


[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

[Recipient’s Name]
[Recipient’s Position]
[Company Name]

Subject: Formal Complaint against [Coworker’s Name]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to formally complain about [Coworker’s Name], who is [Coworker’s Position], due to [specific issue]. This issue has been ongoing for [length of time], and it has adversely affected my work and workplace environment.

On [date] and [date], [describe the specific incidents in detail, including any actions you took in an attempt to resolve the issue].

These incidents have caused [describe the impact, such as stress, decreased productivity, etc.] and have made the workplace challenging to navigate.

I kindly request that this complaint be investigated promptly and appropriate action taken to rectify the issue. I am available for further discussion or clarification on this matter at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.


[Your Name]

Step 5: Review and Submission

Review the letter to ensure that it is free from errors and clearly communicates your concerns. Submit the letter through the appropriate channels in your organization, ensuring that it is received by the relevant authorities.

Submission Checklist:

  • Review for grammatical and factual errors.
  • Ensure proper formatting and structure.
  • Submit through official and appropriate channels.


Writing a formal complaint letter is a crucial step in addressing workplace issues. Ensure that your letter is professional, detailed, and outlines the desired resolution, facilitating a prompt and effective response from the necessary authorities.


  • Maintain professionalism: Keep the language and tone of your letter respectful and professional.
  • Be factual: Stick to the facts and avoid letting emotions dictate the content of your letter.
  • Follow up: Be proactive in following up on your complaint to ensure that it is addressed promptly.
  • Seek advice: Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you are unsure about the process or content of your complaint letter.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When should I write a complaint letter against a coworker? 

Answer: You should write a complaint letter against a coworker when their behavior is unprofessional, disruptive, or harmful to the workplace or other employees. 

This could include behavior such as harassment, discrimination, or consistently failing to complete assigned tasks.

Q: What should I include in my complaint letter against a coworker? 

Answer: Your complaint letter should include specific examples of the coworker’s behavior, how it has affected you or the workplace, and what you believe should be done to address the situation. Be factual, professional, and respectful in your tone and language.

Q: Who should I address my complaint letter to? 

Answer: You should address your complaint letter to your manager or HR department, depending on your company’s policies. 

Check your employee handbook or speak with your supervisor to determine the appropriate person to address your complaint to.

Q: What should I do if my coworker retaliates against me after I write a complaint letter? 

Answer: If your coworker retaliates against you after you write a complaint letter, report the retaliation to your manager or HR department immediately. Retaliation is illegal and should be taken seriously by your employer.

Q: What should I do if my complaint letter is ignored? 

Answer: If your complaint letter is ignored, follow up with your manager or HR department to ensure that your complaint has been received and is being addressed. 

If you still don’t receive a response, consider escalating the issue to a higher level of management or seeking legal advice.

Q: Is it better to write a complaint letter or talk to my coworker directly? 

Answer: It’s always a good idea to try to address the situation with your coworker directly first. However, if their behavior does not change or if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe addressing the situation directly, a complaint letter may be necessary to escalate the issue and seek a resolution