Celebrating 20 Years in Business • 2004 - 2024

4 Common Types of Employee Complaints

Whenever an employee files a complaint with the HR department, the issue at hand should be taken seriously. Failure to properly address the matter, whether intentional or not, can result in the employee feeling demoralized. Employees who do not feel heard may turn to the internet or media outlets and air their grievances publicly.

You may run the risk of losing the employee to your competitors or being the receiving party of a lawsuit. None of these possible outcomes is favorable, and all of them stand the chance to damage your company’s reputation and cost you expensive monetary consequences in the form of penalties or fines while decreasing overall employee morale.

For these reasons and more, it is imperative that you make an effort to reduce the likelihood of your employees making complaints about the workplace. This all starts with understanding the types of complaints that employees often make. Below are four of the most common.

1. A lack of clarity regarding job responsibilities

According to a recent Gallup report, “only 60% of workers can strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work. When accountability and expectations are moving targets, employees can become exhausted just trying to figure out what people want from them.”

In other words, employees need to have a clear and defined understanding of what their job duties entail so that they know what they must do on the job.

2. Problems pertaining to payment

While certain federal and state requirements speak to how payroll must be handled via wage and hour labor laws, employee complaints about pay remain rampant. In fact, in 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor distributed more than $9.1 million to over 1,600 workers who were owed wages. In that situation, 1,600 employees received $1,393 in back wages.

Common issues with employee pay often manifest in the following ways:

  • Violations in terms of minimum wage or overtime pay.
  • Employers pay employees less than the market rate for the position.
  • Lower pay based on gender, race or ethnicity.
  • Mistakes resulting from payroll errors during data entry.

To the best of their abilities, employers should prioritize the adoption of equitable and compliant pay practices while doing all that they can to reduce the likelihood of payroll mistakes.

3. Work environments that feel hostile

By definition, a hostile work environment is a workplace that is disruptive to the point where it impacts the ability of employees to properly perform their work duties. Hostile behavior is typically illegal when it is discriminatory in nature, intense, pervasive, frequent and unwelcomed.

To give you an idea of what a hostile work environment may look like, here are several signs to watch out for:

  • Discrimination.
  • Harassment.
  • Bullying.
  • Toxic relationships.
  • Threats.
  • Violence.
  • Employees who do not feel psychologically safe at work.

A hostile work environment is one of the main reasons employees pay HR a visit. HR should resolve the complaints in an objective and fair manner and take steps to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

4. Performance reviews that seem unfair

In a 2019 study, a shocking 85% of employees stated that they would consider quitting their jobs if they were to receive a performance review that they perceived as unfair. Now, in many cases, employees have the wherewithal to challenge an unfair review and request that HR revise the review they were given rather than resorting to quitting right away, but not all employees understand that they can do this.

Regardless, the best way to mitigate the chances of employees receiving unfair reviews is for managers to provide their employees with accurate, fact-based and unbiased feedback on a reasonable and regular basis. Doing so can help employers justify their formal performance reviews, and employees will be more likely to accept the feedback they receive as well.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.