MIT prohibits any member of the community from retaliating against any person who, in good faith, raises concerns about a possible violation of MIT policy or other wrongdoing, or participates in any Institute complaint resolution process. This non-retaliation policy applies to those who report an incident, file a complaint, or otherwise raise a concern about a policy violation or other wrongdoing; these individuals are sometimes called whistleblowers. The non-retaliation policy also protects those who review or investigate a complaint or concern, serve as a witness or provide background about the complaint or concern, or who make decisions or recommendations about sanctions in any of the Institute’s complaint resolution procedures.
Retaliation is any adverse action, harassment, threats, or other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from making a report or participating in a complaint review process. Examples of possible retaliation include, but are not limited to:
• Adverse employment action (e.g., termination, demotion, reduction in pay, adverse change in schedule or work location, unwarranted negative reference, or exclusion from work-related opportunities, conferences, or other activities)
• Adverse action related to an Institute educational program (e.g., unwarranted negative reference, adverse change to grades, class schedule, or research opportunities or funding)
• Stalking, harassment, intimidation, threats, or engaging in physical violence
• Adverse action related to research or scholarship (e.g., removing from research grant, reducing access to research funds, removing authorship from paper, rejecting a paper during refereeing, recommending to peers or students to not cite their work)
• Encouraging or asking a third party to engage in retaliatory conduct
Note that interim measures taken by MIT to address a complaint, such as separating the parties, are generally not retaliation.
Retaliation may occur even where there is no finding of a policy or other violation.
Complaints of retaliation are addressed through MIT’s complaint resolution processes, depending on the nature of the retaliation (e.g., a grade dispute). Where a formal investigation of a complaint of retaliation is done and no specific internal process exists, the investigation process steps in Section 18.104.22.168 are usually followed. A finding of retaliation may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, suspension or expulsion from the Institute, or severing any other relationship with MIT.
MIT encourages reporting to the Committee on Discipline for student misconduct and acts of retaliation. For situations where a student may be facing retaliation in the lab or workspace by an employee of the Institute, MIT encourages open reporting to a supervisor or to one of the offices listed in this Reporting Options page. Individuals who prefer to report anonymously may do so through the Campus-based hotline or the Lincoln Laboratory hotline.