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College-wide Policies

Nepotism in Employment

College employment should be based solely on human-resource needs and individual qualifications, skills, and performance. Therefore, the college maintains that employment should be free from familial relationships that may create the appearance of conflicts of interest (real or perceived), introduce uncertainty in regard to loyalty, or hint at favoritism*.

Responsible office
Finance & Administration
Responsible party
Director of Human Resources
Last revision
August 2013
Approved by
The Cabinet
Approval date
August 2013
Effective date
August 2013
Additional references
None

Scope

All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus are within the scope of this policy. If there is variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy.

Policy

No college employee who shares or appears to share a close relationship by kinship, adoption, marriage, or who is a member of the same household may be appointed to positions where one might exert any influence or produce any consequence upon the employment of the other. Influence and consequence include recruitment, screening, appointment, termination of appointment, promotion, demotion, approval of salary increase or decrease, supervision, or evaluation.

Conflict resolution

Employment of more than one family/household member* in the same program, department or division of the college requires special justification by the appropriate administrator in terms of personnel requirements and the unique qualifications of the individual.  Such appointments must have prior review by the director of Human Resources.

Should circumstances change and create a situation where a college employee is in a working relationship with a family/household member who exerts influence or can levy consequences upon the other, the college will immediately assess the situation. Human Resources will advise the employee of the available alternatives, which may include:

  • voluntary transfer (if feasible) to other departments on campus
  • efforts to assign job duties so as to minimize problems of supervision or morale 

If there is no alternative available, or the employee is unable or unwilling to agree to an alternative, the college may take action including, but not limited to, an involuntary transfer or termination of employment.

Requests for exceptions

Family/household members may be appointed to positions when it has been determined that they are the most qualified candidates, and when the director of Human Resources has determined that the working relationship will not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of favoritism. 

The college shall not employ or contract with a family/household member of the president except under extraordinary circumstances deemed necessary and with explicit prior approval by the chair of the board of trustees

Procedures

None

Definitions

Family/household members:

For the purposes of this policy, family/household members include: spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, in-law, domestic partner, and person in a co-habitation relationship, as well as step-parents, stepchildren, step-siblings, step-grandparents and step-grandchildren.  This policy also applies to intimate partners defined as a person with whom the employee is having a current romantic and/or sexual relationship.

Favoritism:

Occurs when a person who (by virtue of his or her position with the college) has authority to grant or deny college-related benefits, but abandons professional judgment and confers those benefits because of some special relationship rather than on the basis of merit or qualifications.