Complaint Process and Resolution

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

Who Can Use this Website?

The information here is designed to be used by anyone involved – the person with the complaint, the person against who a complaint is made, either party’s supervisor or manager, or by anyone else affected by the concern. MIT recognizes that many people can be affected by a complaint, and strives to provide a review that is fair to all concerned.

As described below, the approaches for making a complaint can be informal or formal. 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. For more information, see FAQ #6.

Where to Begin

MIT sets standards for conduct that apply to all members of its community. If you feel that you were unfairly treated or that an MIT employment policy was violated or misapplied, MIT encourages you to raise your concerns, and offers many people to talk to. Concerns about discrimination, harassment, or other violations of policy 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. 

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). While a general complaint of unfair treatment may be reviewed using the informal process, a request for a Formal Review must specify one or more MIT employment policies that were allegedly violated or misapplied.

See the Formal Complaint Process.

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.