A letter of reprimand from your boss or superior can follow you throughout your career. It can affect promotions and raises with your current employer. Asking your employer to rescind the letter can clean up your employee file of negative notations and open up a line of communication between you and your employer allowing an open and frank discussion about the issues that caused the reprimand in the first place.
Read the letter noting any instructions for your response. The letter should contain information regarding what you did wrong and how you can improve. Typically, letters of reprimand include consequences if you choose to disregard the warning.
Write a letter of rebuttal. Include details about the incident that led to the reprimand and why you feel it is too harsh or unfair. If the reprimand is accurate, explain the circumstances that led to your disregard of company policy. Ask for the removal of the reprimand from your file.
Request an appointment to meet with your boss and another member of management. If possible, try to have your boss's superior attend the meeting. However, if your boss does not have a superior, try to arrange for another manager to attend the meeting to act as mediator.
Give a copy of your letter to your manager and ask human resources to file a copy in your employee record.
Sit down with your manager and discuss the options you have for the recension of the reprimand letter. Detail the steps you are willing to take to ensure that the reason for the letter does not happen again. For example, if you received a letter of reprimand for losing your temper, tell your boss that you are seeking anger management help. If you received a reprimand because of excessive tardiness, outline the steps you are taking to ensure promptness such as setting extra alarm clocks or taking time management classes.
Negotiate the lifting of the reprimand. Ask for your boss's agreement that if you perform your duties without incident for six months, she will remove the letter -- and your rebuttal -- from your file. While your boss may be willing to remove the letter immediately, chances are that if the situation is to the point that a written reprimand was necessary you will have to prove your ability to change your behavior before your superior rescinds the reprimand.
If you belong to a union, request the presence of your union representative at the meeting with your boss.
Be professional during negotiations even if you feel that your behavior did not warrant a written reprimand.