Know the Rules!!!
We all have to get better at using our employers policies and practices against them, if they have violated their own standards and written statements about their guidelines and procedures.
It's good to use quotes from the personnel manual when you are emailing HR or executive staff about any official internal complaints or grievances you plan to file. This will let HR know you’re familiar with the policies and procedures of the company.
It also lets them know that you understand how they are supposed to be handling your complaint/grievance. Your employer will see how serious you are about your issue.
However, in the name of full disclosure, you should realize that some will take your knowledge as a reason to be afraid. This includes fears about you becoming a trouble-maker and/or fears about you pursuing legal action.
A friend of mine made a complaint at work and, because she was knowledgeable about her workplace rights, had to deal with HR accusing her of trying to set up a legal case against the company. That was the last thing she wanted, but when an employer knows they have done dirty, they can become paranoid and project their own ill-behavior and deeds onto others.
Nevertheless, employers are supposed to follow their own written procedures. Therefore, if they deviate from their procedures, they are simply providing you with documentation that could be evidence of a potentially deliberate attempt to violate your employee rights and to ignore your complaint.
Know your rights and hold your employer’s feet to the fire, when it comes to adhering to their own written policies and procedures. However, you should do so knowing their is a potential for your employer to intentionally escalate the situation.