Complaint Process and Resolution

This site explains options for raising and resolving a concern about a violation of an MIT employment policy. It also describes the process for making a formal complaint about policy violations.

MIT's Policies & Procedures (P&P) site sets forth Institute-level policies and procedures that apply broadly to MIT faculty, other academic staff, research staff, non-academic staff, and, for some policies, to unpaid affiliates and other members of the MIT community. Institute policies on standards of conduct are found in Section 9; these include prohibitions on harassment, discrimination, racist conduct, retaliation, and violence against community members.

Complaints about Conduct Policies

The complaint resolution process for complaints against faculty and staff concerning Conduct Policies is described in Section 9.8. Any member of the MIT community may file a Complaint online through the Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response Office (IDHR) to initiate an investigation of an alleged violation of a Conduct Policy.  

The process differs somewhat depending on whether the complaint alleges a violation of a policy against discrimination or discriminatory harassment, or another conduct policy.

Discrimination or Discriminatory Harassment 

A violation of any of the following Conduct Policies, when the alleged conduct is based on an individual's protected class:

Other Inappropriate Conduct

A violation of any of the following Conduct Policies, when the alleged conduct is not based on an individual's protected class:

  • Harassment not based on an individual's protected class (Section 9.5)
  • Personal Conduct and Responsibilities Towards Students and Employees (Section 9.1)
  • Relations and Responsibilities Within the MIT Community (Section 9.0)
  • Retaliation not based on an individual's protected class (Section 9.7)
  • Violence against Community Members (Section 9.6)

Note that the formal complaint process applies to complaints made against employees (including faculty) about work-related matters; complaints made against students are handled by the Office of Student Conduct

Complaints about Other, Non-Conduct Related Policies

If you believe that someone in the MIT community (other than a student) has violated an MIT employment policy other than one of the Conduct Policies listed above, you may request a review by Human Resources. To do so, you may contact your Human Resources Officer or File a Request for Review of Non-Conduct Policy.

Where to Begin

If you feel that you were unfairly treated or that any MIT employment policy was violated or misapplied, MIT encourages you to raise your concerns, and offers many people to talk to. Concerns should be addressed and resolved as promptly as possible. Ignoring behavior is not an effective way of changing that behavior.

MIT offers many different options for resolving concerns and complaints. Some options are more formal in nature; others rely on less formal, problem-solving approaches. The Institute encourages informal complaint resolution when that is possible and appropriate. The best option for you may depend on the seriousness of the offense, the type of resolution you prefer, and the conduct itself. 

  • Learn the initial steps you can take
  • See ways to informally resolve a complaint
  • Read FAQs about the complaint resolution process for complaints about conduct policies on the Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response Office (IDHR) website
  • See a list of people and offices to talk to in Resources

Formal Complaints

Where informal complaint resolution is not successful or appropriate given the circumstances, MIT offers a formal process to resolve complaints that MIT employment policies were violated or misapplied (that is, applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner). A formal complaint must specify an MIT Conduct Policy that was violated or misapplied.

The Conduct Policies covered by the procedure outlined in Section 9.8 are listed above. For alleged violations of other MIT employment policies, you can File a Request for Review of Non-Conduct Policy.

The complaint system described in this website applies to employees who are not in bargaining units at MIT. The complaint procedures may differ for members of bargaining units.