3.1 Conditions of Work and Personal Conduct

3.1 Conditions of Work and Personal Conduct

The guiding policy relating to conditions of work and personal conduct is that the quality of work and the atmosphere in which it is done be consistent with the reputation of MIT as a leading educational and research institution. An employee's conduct when working for or representing the Institute, or when on Institute premises, should meet acceptable standards of the community and show respect for the law and the rights of others.

When not on Institute premises or representing the Institute, an employee's personal conduct is his or her own to regulate. However, if an employee engages in behavior that discredits the Institute or shows a serious lack of dependability or good judgment, it may be appropriate to review that employee's responsibilities at the Institute. Any such review will be conducted by Human Resources at the request of a department head or manager.

It is MIT's policy to have as few rules and regulations as are consistent with efficient administration and general welfare. Some departments and laboratories may have specific rules which reflect their own situations and which must be consistent with any generally applicable rules and regulations. Exceptions to specific rules may create more problems than they resolve. Exceptions should therefore be made only for important and clearly understood reasons. Managers and supervisors should consult with their Human Resources Officer before making significant exceptions.

3.1.1 Hours of Work and Alternative Work Schedules

It is the general policy of MIT to allow for the existence of flexible work schedules for individual employees where it is to the mutual advantage of both the employee and the department or laboratory. Hours of work for any individual may be arranged by each department or laboratory in consultation with the Human Resources Officer. Before changing an employee's schedule, the supervisor must notify the appropriate Human Resources Officer. (See Section 5.2, Implementing Changes in Employment Status.)

It is recognized that certain offices can most conveniently operate on irregular or flexible schedules because of academic commitments, seasonal operations, extended experiments, peak loads, or other operational reasons. In such situations, all employees should be aware that the safe and efficient accomplishment of assigned work is the primary consideration of any office or laboratory, and that the convenience of others, including other areas of the Institute, students, and the public, overrides personal convenience. In addition, any schedule (whether flexible or not) that involves employees working alone under potentially hazardous conditions must comply with MIT's policy on Working Alone.

The Institute will seek to accommodate the needs of those for whom an alternative work schedule has distinct advantages, whether for reasons of transportation, religious obligations, children's schooling, family, or other needs. Supervisors are encouraged to give favorable consideration to requests for alternative schedules as long as the accommodation can be achieved without changing the basic MIT office hours during which services are provided (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or without incurring overtime costs; without impairing the unit's effectiveness in carrying out its research, teaching, service, or administrative function; without placing undue burden on others in the unit, whether individual employees or supervisors; and without creating problems of safety, security, or supervision.

In the event of a paid absence such as vacation or sick leave on a day that an employee with a flexible schedule would ordinarily be scheduled to work, the employee will be paid, through the normal process, for the number of hours he or she would have been paid had he or she not been absent, with appropriate deductions from the vacation or sick leave balances. (See also Section 4.1.3, Computation of Holiday Pay.)

It is incumbent on each supervisor to report work times exactly as attended in order to assure equity among all employees and compliance with the governing policies, procedures, and regulations. (See Section 5.1, Supervisor's Responsibility in Payroll Matters.)

Should any flexible scheduling arrangement prove incompatible with a department's or laboratory's operational needs, the arrangement may be unilaterally terminated by the department in consultation with the Human Resources Officer.

3.1.2 Attendance and Punctuality

Dependable attendance and punctuality are expected of all employees. If problems arise relating to an employee's attendance or punctuality, the supervisor or manager should not delay in taking corrective action. (See Section 3.2, Responsibility of Supervisors and Section 3.3.3, Corrective Action.)

3.1.3 Policy Regarding the Use of Alcohol

MIT observes all laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase, and serving of alcoholic beverages by all members of its community and expects that these laws will be adhered to at all events associated with the Institute. This includes activities on the MIT campus, in MIT independent living groups, and at off-campus functions sponsored and supported by MIT or any of its affiliated groups.

The Institute does not intend through its guidelines or policies to restrict the responsible use of alcohol by members of the MIT community who are at or above the legal drinking age. Efforts, however, to observe existing laws and regulations in an environment in which the majority of the undergraduate student body is not of drinking age will almost certainly impose some constraints on those who are of age.

No alcoholic beverages may be served or consumed in any work area of the Institute at any time, except in Institute dining areas or at official Institute functions when expressly authorized by a member of the Faculty Council or the Administrative Council. All student events with alcohol must be registered through the Residence and Campus Activities Office. All non-student events with alcohol must be registered through the Conference Services Office.

Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. (See Section 3.3.3 Corrective Action and Section 6.4 Discharge; see also Section 3.8, Institute Personal Assistance Program.) 

3.1.4 Policy Regarding A Drug-Free Workplace at MIT

The unlawful use, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, or possession of any illegal drug is prohibited in any work area of the Institute at any time. Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. (See Section 3.3.3 Corrective Action and Section 6.4 Discharge.)

The use of illegal drugs in the workplace can obviously affect the work of the drug user and it can also affect those who work or study with the drug user. Problems arising from drug abuse can be successfully handled in a majority of cases, provided they are recognized in the early stages and referral is made to the appropriate resource. The Institute's Personal Assistance Program, within the Social Work Service of the Medical Department, provides specialized counseling and referral services to individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol. A policy statement regarding this program can be found in Section 3.8 of this Manual. Individuals who are suffering from drug abuse are encouraged to seek assistance from this program. All referrals and treatment records are strictly confidential. In instances where it is necessary, sick leave will be granted for inpatient treatment or rehabilitation on the same basis as it is for other health concerns.

The federal government requires that each employee directly engaged in the performance of work under a federal grant or contract must (a) be provided with a copy of a statement describing the employer's policy; and (b) be notified that, as a condition of employment on that grant or contract, the employee will abide by the terms of the policy and will notify the employer if he or she is convicted of any criminal drug statute violation in the workplace, no later than five days after such a conviction. All individuals subject to the federal requirements should report to their employer any conviction, and the employer, in turn, is required to notify the awarding federal agencies of any convictions. Department Heads and other supervisors, in consultation with Human Resources, will have the responsibility for any disciplinary action, or for requiring offenders to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug abuse treatment program, or both.

3.1.5 Smoking Policy

Smoking is generally prohibited in all spaces of all MIT buildings. The only exceptions are private residences (e.g., housemasters' apartments and private apartments), student dormitory rooms where all occupants are smokers who have requested in writing that smoking be permitted in their room, designated rooms at Endicott House, and enclosed outdoor areas. This policy is intended to be self-enforcing, and the cooperation of all members of the MIT community is expected. Violators of this policy may be subject to serious sanctions. (See Section 3.3.3 Corrective Action and Section 6.4 Discharge.)

3.1.6 Gambling

Conducting lotteries, playing cards for money, booking bets, or any other form of gambling by employees or outsiders on Institute time or premises is not permitted. A manager or supervisor should stop any gambling he or she observes and warn the employees involved that disciplinary action may follow. The facts of any incident of gambling should be reported to the appropriate Human Resources Officer for the department. Serious offenses or repetitions of offenses are grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. (See Section 3.3.3 Corrective Action and Section 6.4 Discharge.)

3.1.7 Dishonesty

Dishonesty cannot be condoned and will be dealt with promptly in the following or related circumstances: stealing; lying about matters connected with work; falsifying time records; unauthorized personal use of Institute or government property; doing unauthorized private work on Institute time; and giving or receiving a bribe in any form. Dishonesty is grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. (See Section 3.3.3 Corrective Action and Section 6.4 Discharge.)

3.1.8 Safeguarding Cash and Personal Property

The Institute is an open community and most buildings are accessible to the public. All employees should take steps to safeguard their cash and property.

Managers or supervisors should make sure that any Institute funds are kept in a secure place on the premises.

3.1.9 Refreshments on the Job

There is no established "coffee break" policy at the Institute. Supervisors in each office or laboratory determine whether a short break in the daily routine for purposes of refreshment is appropriate. Such periods of refreshment should not interfere with or take precedence over any work of an office or laboratory.