Writing a Rebuttal Letter to Your Employer [Free Sample]

There are several reasons an employee may want to write a rebuttal letter to his or her employer. The most common reasons are for a poor performance rating, an accusation of a policy violation or wrongful discharge. 

Before considering sending a letter, it’s important for the employee to gain control of his or her emotions, calm down and regain clear-headedness before writing a well-though-out letter that clearly explains their position.

It is also important that the appraisal or disciplinary action be unfair. If the negative job appraisal is true, such as the employee’s sales figures have fallen in the past 12 months, or the employee has systematically broken office rules, there is no point in sending a rebuttal letter. It will make the employee look like an inflexible and argumentative troublemaker. 

Research The Company Procedures

The first thing the employee should do is research the company procedures for disputing a performance appraisal or other accusation. 

If they can’t find the policy, they can ask the human resources department for the proper steps for filing a rebuttal. Many companies and organizations have procedures that need to be followed in order for the rebuttal to be taken seriously. 

This may include a time frame for submitting a rebuttal and a list of people in the company or organization that should get a copy. If possible, the employee should get the rebuttal procedure in writing. 

If the appraisal was a disciplinary action against the employee and he or she feels the action was discriminatory or that they were unfairly dismissed, they should check labor laws to see if the employer has acted illegally in the disciplinary action.

The employee should gather documents that provide proof of their position such as previous positive performance appraisals, positive disciplinary statements, a list of successfully completed projects and any commendations.

These documents will support the employee’s side of the appraisal. The letter should list specific points in the evaluation that are being rebutted. These may include job skills, attendance, interpersonal relationships and performance.

An effective rebuttal letter should:

  • Be brief, clearly presented and accurate
  • Acknowledge any positive comments mentioned in the evaluation
  • Not be accusatory or negative in tone
  • Mention any past or future positive interaction with the evaluator
  • Acknowledge suggestions given
  • Have no grammar or spelling mistakes
  • Request that the rebuttal be attached to the original evaluation

The following is an example of a rebuttal letter. It should be written in a formal business letter style and sent via certified mail so that the sender knows it was received. 

It is suggested that the employee wait a day before submitting the letter after composing it. This will allow the employee to double-check that the letter does not contain any incendiary language or put the recipient on edge.

Sample Rebuttal Letter To Your Employer

Your Name
Your Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Employer’s Name,

This letter is an official response to your appraisal of my work performance on [DATE]. I appreciate that you recognized my dedication to [Name of Company] and acknowledged my energy and excitement for my work.

My sales numbers have decreased in the last 12 months compared to the same period last year, as you noted in my review. This is correct, and I agree. 

However, because I was in the hospital for one month last year and had to rehabilitate with physical therapy for the next two months, my sales figures decreased because I was only able to work for nine months. 

This, I believe, should be noted in my review as well. A letter from my doctor and a copy of my hospital record are provided.

The evaluation currently reads as though I didn’t work as hard throughout the previous 12 months, which was just not the case. 

When my sales figures are compared to the same period last year, it is evident that this year’s figures are greater. 

I’d like to have the cause for my sales figures dropping in the last 12 months factored into my appraisal. I humbly request that this letter be submitted to my official job appraisal if a new review that fairly portrays my work is not issued.

I genuinely care about the goods I’m selling for [business name] and like my profession. 

I’ll keep trying my hardest, and I’m open to any recommendations you may have. I would be happy to meet with you to address the matter, and I am hopeful that this problem may be handled.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Your Name
List of enclosures: medical reports

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