Solving Workplace Problems

Harvard offers a wide range of problem-solving resources to help you deal with a variety of workplace situations.

Most workplace problems can be addressed within your own unit by working with your manager and/or local HR office. Union employees may seek advice from their union representative. If local efforts to resolve workplace issues fail, the collective bargaining agreement for each employee group outlines formal problem-solving processes. Nonunion staff will find the formal problem-solving process in the University's Personnel Manual.

In most cases, however, problem-solving is done informally.  If you need information or simply a place to talk, please contact one of the offices listed below.


Directory of problem-solvers

Harvard University Anonymous Reporting Hotline

The University Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows Harvard employees to anonymously report violations of ethics, integrity, compliance issues or other irregular business practices. To allow for anonymity, when you call the hotline you will speak with a third-party representative who will report your question or concern to University management for review and follow-up. You are also able to report concerns via a secure third-party website. Whether you call or make a report via the web, you will be provided with a report number to allow you to obtain updates or to provide additional information without revealing your identity. Call 877-694-2275 or go to www.integrity-helpline.com/HarvardUniversity.jsp for more information.

Local Offices of Human Resources

In most cases, if you are experiencing a problem at work that you can’t resolve with your manager/supervisor, you can consult your school/department office of human resources. Professionals there can advise you, explain University and department policies, answer questions about rights and responsibilities, and help resolve conflicts. They can also refer you to other helpful services.

Local HR Offices

Harvard's Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The professionals at Harvard's Employee Assistance Program provide free and confidential support to all faculty, staff and their household members and help find solutions for a wide range of workplace or personal issues.

Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Labor and Employee Relations

Labor and Employee Relations negotiates and administers the University’s collective bargaining agreements and provides advice, counsel and training to HR officers, supervisors and staff members on a range of employment-related issues.

Labor and Employee Relations
124 Mt. Auburn Street
Suite 480 South
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-2786

Harvard University Disability Services

Harvard University Disability Services serves faculty, staff and students dealing with disability issues on campus and in the workplace. Your local HR office can connect you with these services.

The office ensures access for all persons with disabilities, serves as a resource for information and problem solving on disability issues, and raises awareness in the Harvard community.

Disability Services staff provide assistance to employees, departments, HR offices and union representatives with disability issues, such as transitioning back to work after disability, reasonable accommodations and adherence to the ADA, and education on the prevention of workplace injuries.

You can learn more about these services on the office's website:
Accessibility at Harvard

University Disability Services
1350 Massachusetts Ave., Room 935
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1859
disabilityservices@harvard.edu

University Ombudsman Office

The University Ombudsman Office provides all members of the Harvard community with a neutral and confidential place to explore options for solving workplace or academic problems that may not be able to be resolved using normal channels.

The ombudsman can help evaluate the issues and develop resolution. She does not advocate for any individual or group and keeps no notes or individual records.

The ombudsman can help with conflicts with a colleague or manager, managing difficult staff, inappropriate or disrespectful behavior, performance management, grievance and complaint procedures, and resources available to Harvard faculty and staff.

Lydia Cummings, University ombudsman
University Ombudsman Office
44R Brattle Street, 117-118 
Cambridge, MA
Email: university_ombudsman@harvard.edu
Phone: 617-495-7748

Harvard Medical Area Ombudsperson Office

The Harvard Medical Area Ombuds Office assists faculty, staff and students in the Longwood Medical Area, and Harvard appointees experiencing conflict at affiliated institutions. The ombudsperson is a neutral party working to ensure that people are treated fairly and equitably.

The ombuds office can help with issues such as academic or research disputes, misuse of power, sexual harassment, discrimination, professional misconduct and personal conflicts. The office provides a safe forum to voice concerns, evaluate situations and decide next steps. Options range from simply talking, to pursuing a formal grievance internally or externally.

Melissa Brodrick, Harvard Medical Area ombudsperson
164 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA
Confidential phone: 617-432-4040
Ombuds Assistant phone: 617-432-4041
Confidential fax: 617-432-0586

Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution

The University has designated grievance procedures designed to provide prompt and equitable methods of investigation and resolution to stop discrimination, remedy and harm, and prevent its reoccurrence.

The Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) has been charged with implementing the procedures for students, staff, and in some cases, faculty, pursuant to the University-wide Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy. You can find information about the policy, resources and procedures for filing a complaint by visiting the office's website.