Reporting Guide

If you believe someone is violating the code of conduct we ask that you report it to the MyMCOA Code of Conduct Working Group by emailing conduct@mcoaonline.com. All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that’s the case, the identities of all victims and reporters will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.

If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still report it. We would much rather have a few extra reports where we decide to take no action, rather than miss a report of an actual violation. We do not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. And knowing about incidents that are not violations, or happen outside our spaces, can also help us to improve the Code of Conduct or the processes surrounding it.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
  • Names of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have.

What happens after you file a report?

You will receive an email from the acknowledging receipt immediately. We promise to acknowledge receipt within 24 hours (and will aim for much quicker than that).

The working group will immediately meet to review the incident and determine:

  • What happened.
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
  • Who the bad actor was.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone’s safety.

If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to safety, the working groups’ immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an “official” response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is safe.

Once the working group has a complete account of the events they will make a decision as to how to respond. Responses may include:

  • Nothing (if we determine no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand from the working group to the individual(s) involved.
  • A public reprimand.
  • An imposed moderation of comments.
  • A permanent or temporary ban from MyMCOA.
  • A request for a public or private apology.

We’ll respond within one week to the person who filed the report with either a resolution or an explanation of why the situation is not yet resolved.

Once we’ve determined our final action, we’ll contact the original reporter to let them know what action (if any) we’ll be taking. We’ll take into account feedback from the reporter on the appropriateness of our response, but we don’t guarantee we’ll act on it.

Finally, the Working Group will make a report on the situation to the MCOA board. The board may choose to a public report of the incident.

Reconsideration

Any of the parties directly involved or affected can request reconsideration of the committee’s decision. To make such a request, contact the MCOA Board at board@mcoaonline.com with your request and motivation and the MCOA Board will review the case.

Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
 
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138