How to Write an Appeal to Being Fired

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Being fired can open up a Pandora’s box of emotions, particularly if you believe your dismissal was unfair or unlawful. It’s essential to stay calm and focused when writing an appeal letter or statement. Adhere strictly to the company’s grievance procedures and refer to your employee handbook for information on where to address the letter. Be brief but specific about your reasons for appealing the dismissal and seek legal advice immediately if you believe you were unlawfully fired.

Begin by briefly outlining your case, including the date on which you were dismissed and the reason you were fired. If, for example, you were fired for poor timekeeping, write something like: “Dear Ms. Smyth: My employment with [name of the company] was terminated on July 17 this year on the basis of poor timekeeping and consistent absenteeism. My immediate supervisor informed me of this decision verbally on the afternoon of July 17 and later confirmed it in writing.”

State that you wish to appeal your dismissal and explain your reasons. Under U.S. anti-discrimination laws, it is illegal to fire someone on the grounds of age, sex, race, religion or disability. If you believe that you were fired for any of these reasons, state clearly in your letter the reasons you believe you were discriminated against. If, for example, your employer made derogatory comments about your age or race, either directly or indirectly, outline the nature of the comments and the date or dates on which they were made. A termination that breaches an employment contract is also unlawful, so provide specific information about the details of the contract and how they were breached.

Provide information about mitigating circumstances. Even if your dismissal was justified because of a company policy breach, your employer may reconsider your firing on compassionate grounds. Someone who had to take time off because of illness or behaved erratically because of the effects of prescription medication should enclose medical certification to back up his case.

Request that your appeal be considered favorably and thank the letter’s recipient. Depending on the company’s grievance procedure, you may be able to request a meeting with your former employers to discuss your case in more detail. Alternatively, if you believe your dismissal was unlawful, state that you will be seeking legal counsel.


About the Author

Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Elizabeth Burns began writing professionally in 1988. She has worked as a feature writer for various Irish newspapers, including the "Irish News," "Belfast News Letter" and "Sunday Life." Burns has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ulster as well as a Master of Research in arts.

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