Please help me write a letter to the CEO about an employee grievance in a toy company.
The company attorney notifies you that former employee has filed a case against the company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, constrictive discharge, after a work schedule policy changed. The employee is alleging that the new policy on the shift work is discriminatory because the policy requires working on the religious holy days. In the past it was Monday through Friday and now it’s four hours shift with four days off.
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Your question is difficult to answer without more information. For instance, who are you and what is your position or title in the company? In what phase is the complaint, and what steps have been taken?
It would seem that a formal complaint has already been filed within the company and has come to the attention of the company’s attorney. I therefore assume the complaint has already been handled by human resources (HR).
Assuming you are the employee’s manager, the usual steps in handling the complaint you describe would be for you, the employee and the HR director to meet with the goal of resolving the issue. Before the meeting you would have documented in writing for the HR department as much as you can determine about the issue (including the information described in your question). Failing resolution, the company would have to make a decision as to whether or not to accommodate, in whole or in part, that which the employee requests. At that point the employee would be left to agree or appeal.
It sounds as if the employee contacted an attorney who notified the company of the intention to file a law suit, or possibly even filed a law suit…hence, the involvement of the company attorney. If this happened, then you were probably asked to provide information as to the circumstances. This may be the letter you are seeking to write
If so, then the letter should be written to the HR director, not the CEO. And in any case, if a lawsuit is involved, the information you write should be sent to a confidential legally privileged file opened for this specific case.
In summary, you as a manager are responsible for documenting in writing all that you know about the grievance. This information becomes part of the case file. If a lawsuit is filed, the company attorney and the HR department will handle it. Your involvement would be limited to providing the information as you already have, and you would not ordinarily need to write a letter to the CEO.
The reference is an excellent general discussion on handling employee complaints, ranging from specific complaints such as you described, to serious company-wide issues such as a company’s gender bias.
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