E01.2 Nepotism

I. Scope

This policy is related to employment circumstances involving individuals who are immediate family or relatives.  The policy applies to 1) applicants for employment, 2) all regular and temporary faculty and staff (as defined in Policy E01.0, Employee Classifications and Status), and 3) student employees (including, but not limited to, undergraduate or graduate students performing administrative or support work, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants) in all areas of the university.

II. Rationale

This policy is intended to ensure fairness in employment-related decisions, actions and processes for applicants for employment, as well as faculty, staff, and student employees. The policy also provides procedures to avoid or rectify circumstances that create conflicts of interest, and establishes the expectation for their consistent administration throughout the university.

III. Definition of Immediate Family or Relatives

Individuals are immediate family or relatives (familial relationships) if they have any of the following connections between them by virtue of a blood relationship within a family of the same descent, marriage or re-marriage, adoption, or domestic partnership:

  • spouse or domestic partner

  • child, guardian/ward, step-child, foster child

  • mother, father, step-mother, step-father, mother-in-law, father-in-law,

  • brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, half-brother, half-sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,

  • aunt, uncle, first cousin, niece, nephew,

  • grandparent, great-grandparent, grandchild,

  • domestic partner’s mother, domestic partner’s father, domestic partner’s child, or any member of the employee’s household including co-habitation.

IV. Policy Statement

  1. Current Employees.
    1. Faculty, staff, and student employees shall not initiate or participate in employment-related decisions (e.g., initial appointments, promotions, tenure review, salary/merit, leaves, or awards) that directly affect a member of their immediate family or relative.

    2. Faculty, staff, and student employees shall not be in a position in which they have a direct reporting relationship with an immediate family member or relative.

  2. Applicants. Individuals who have a familial relationship with any RIT faculty, staff, or student employees are eligible for employment at the university and are considered in the same manner as all other applicants; i.e. based on their qualifications. Applicants are expected to disclose such a relationship at the time they become aware of the circumstance if the position for which they are applying is in the same college/division and/or is within the chain of command of the family member.

V. Procedures for Compliance

  1. Consultation. It is the responsibility of employees to consult with the appropriate supervisors or Human Resources if there are questions about the application or effect of this policy to a familial relationship in which they are or may become involved, or in which employees they directly or indirectly supervise are or may become involved.

  2. Disclosure. Faculty, staff, and student employees are required to disclose any circumstance which would be a violation of this policy, or which would be a violation of RIT’s Individual Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy (C4.0). Employees must disclose the situation or circumstances to their immediate supervisor and the next level supervisor within ten (10) business days of becoming aware of violation of this policy or the conflict of interest.

  3. Supervisor Action. If such a circumstance should develop, the next-level supervisor of the affected employees shall immediately assume responsibility for employment-related decisions or actions involving the affected employees.  In addition, the next-level supervisor shall immediately initiate actions to comply with this policy, in consultation with Human Resources.  Circumstances and appropriate actions to be taken will be considered on a case by case basis.

VI. Policy Violations

An individual is considered in violation of the policy when the disclosure or corrective action for which he or she is accountable has not occurred.  The director of Human Resources will coordinate an investigation of alleged violations of this policy in conjunction with the appropriate college and/or division supervisors.  If any of these individuals are included in the report of a potential violation, they are excluded from the investigative process and determination.

VII. Related Policies

Other university policies and statements with content related to this policy include:

Responsible Office: Department of Human Resources

Policy History:
Approved 6/1/84
Revised 12/13/2000
Edited October 2010
Revised 5/18/2016