Negative employee attitudes, chronic complaining, insubordination and gossiping are bad for the workplace. They can impact employee morale and productivity and if spread outside of the organization, reflect very poorly on that company. While employers should have appropriate written polices and promptly address employee griping and rudeness head on -- through investigations, frank discussions, performance reviews, enforcement of clearly delineated policies and procedures and disciplinary measures when necessary --- employers must tread carefully. Not all gripes are created equal . Some complaints constitute legally protected activity, and efforts to curb them could run afoul of labor laws. If your managers are not properly trained to handle employee complaints and negative attitudes, they may quite literally turn annoying but manageable situations into federal cases.