A decision that goes against you can have long-term negative consequences for your career. Many people mistakenly believe they have no right of appeal when an unreasonable decision is made about them, but they do.
An appeal letter allows you to challenge an employer’s decision while also presenting your case for a more favorable outcome. A well-written appeal letter has the potential to overturn an unfavorable decision. If you want to challenge a decision at work, you should learn more about writing an appeal letter.
In this article, we’ll discuss what an appeal letter is and when you might need one, how to write one, and provide a template and example to help you successfully state your appeal.
What is a Letter of Appeal?
A letter of appeal is a written response to a decision in which you express your desire for a different outcome. An appeal letter is an opportunity to share why you believe the decision was incorrect and suggest a solution that you believe would be more equitable.
There are several workplace scenarios that may necessitate the use of an appeal letter. The following are the most common reasons for submitting an appeal letter:
- A supervisor issued you a formal warning.
- Your employer turned down your request for a raise.
- Your employer ended up choosing someone else for a promotion.
- You were demoted.
- Your employer changed your working hours.
- Your job changed your responsibilities and duties at work.
- Your employer let you go as part of layoffs.
- Your employer fired you.
Different Types of Letter of Appeal
To give you more information, here are some letters of appeal that you can use to draft your own.
A letter of appeal for reconsideration is a professional document written to request that a decision be reconsidered. There are numerous reasons why you might want to write a letter of appeal for a decision to be reconsidered.
An Appeal Letter for Suspension from Work is a professional document written by an employee who has been wrongfully suspended to request that the dismissal be reconsidered.
Whatever the reason, if a student’s grade point average falls below the minimum required to retain a scholarship, it is worthwhile to write a scholarship appeal letter to explain the circumstances that contributed to the drop in grades.
If a homeowner believes that the assessment of his or her property for tax purposes is incorrect, he or she should send a property tax appeal letter.
A donation appeal letter is a formal way for a non-profit or charity organization to reach out to potential donors and request funding and contributions.
How to Write a Letter of Appeal
If you believe your employer made a mistake and need to write an appeal letter to express your preferred outcome, follow these steps:
- Consult with your company’s policy guide
If your company has a formal policy on appeal letters, you must strictly adhere to it. If you submit an appeal letter that does not follow the procedure outlined in the company guidelines, your employer may reject it or not read it at all.
- Directly address the recipient
When sending an appeal letter, make sure to address it to the person who has decision-making authority over the issue you’re appealing. Using a generic address, such as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To whom it may concern,” increases the likelihood that your letter will be filtered out or reach someone who lacks the authority to overturn the previous ruling. Addressing your appeal directly to a supervisor makes it clear to whom your appeal is directed, giving you the best chance of success.
- Write a formal letter
Because an appeal letter is a professional communication, it should be written in a professional tone. Even if you have a friendly and informal relationship with the letter’s recipient during normal business operations, formal writing is usually preferable.
- Stick to the facts when stating your case
Try not to rely on personal feelings or emotions when writing about why you believe the decision was made incorrectly. Instead, concentrate solely on verifiable facts and measurable data.
- Express your gratitude
Making someone feel appreciated can help you get a better judgment because they see you positively. One simple way to build goodwill with the person you’re writing to is to express your appreciation for taking the time to reconsider the decision you’re appealing.
- Keep it concise
When sending an appeal letter, your first priority should be to ensure that the recipient reads it. If they’re busy, a long letter is more likely to be ignored or only briefly read, lowering your chances of getting a favorable decision on your appeal.
- Make a note of any relevant attachments
When appealing a decision, you may choose to include additional documentation to prove the reason for your appeal. This could include performance data, character references, or other sources you believe add credibility to your appeal.
- Send a follow-up message
If you send an appeal letter and don’t hear back, it’s appropriate to send a follow-up message. When filing an appeal in accordance with the regulations outlined in your company’s or union’s handbook, make sure to wait until the designated review period has passed before sending a follow-up.
What to Include in Letter of Appeal?
There are several factors to consider when writing an appeal letter. Before sending a letter, make sure it includes:
- Your professional contact information
- A summary of the situation to which you are appealing
- An explanation of why you believe the decision was inaccurate
- A request for your preferred solution to be implemented
- Gratitude for considering your appeal
- If applicable, attach supporting documentation.
Sample and Template
Here are samples and templates that can help you in drafting your own letter of appeal.
Letter of Appeal Template
Use this template to help guide your letter:
[Your position, if necessary]
[Your phone number]
Dear [Recipient’s name], [Recipient’s title], [Recipient’s title if sending an email without the above information],
I’m writing to appeal [decision] made on [action date]. I was informed that [reason for action].
I’m filing an appeal because I believe [reason for appeal]. [Two or three sentences providing evidence to support your appeal].
I’m requesting that you reconsider your decision. For the reasons stated above, I believe that [preferred outcome] is a more equitable decision. Thank you for taking the time to consider my appeal.
[Make a note to acknowledge any attached materials]
Letter of Appeal Sample
Here is an example of Appeal Letter:
Sales Associate, Armstrong Electronics
(413) 567 8901
January 15, 2020
Southeast Regional Sales Director, Mars Electronics
Dear Therese Anderson,
I’m writing to inform you of the recent decision on my annual raise, which was delivered on January 25. I was told that after reviewing my performance from the previous year, I would receive a 3% raise; however, I believe that I am deserving of a larger raise.
I’m appealing because I believe my sales record shows that I’m one of the most valuable members of the sales team. I’ve consistently ranked among the top ten salespeople in the region, and I’ve led my branch in sales for three of the last five months. My long track record as a top performer, combined with even better results since the summer, I believe, demonstrates my high value to the company.
I respectfully request that you reconsider your decision. A 5% raise, I believe, is more in line with both cost-of-living increases and my strong performance as one of the company’s most productive sales team members.
Attached: Sales records for the last 12 months
- An appeal letter allows you to claim an employer’s decision while also presenting your case for a better outcome.
- This letter of appeal is an opportunity to explain why you believe the decision was untrue and to propose a more equitable solution.
- If your company has a stated process on appeal letters, you must strictly follow it.
- Keep your letter of appeal concise so that readers can understand it well.