Nepotism

Employment and Contracting for Service of Relatives, Policy on

Title: Employment and Contracting for Service of Relatives, Policy on
Policy Owner: Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics and the Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations/Human Resources
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Others
Campus Applicability: All Campuses
Effective Date: February 7, 2011
For More Information, Contact Office of Audit, Compliance & Ethics and the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations (Storrs) or Human Resources (UConn Health)
Contact Information: UConn Health: (860) 679-4180 or (860) 679-2426
Storrs/Storrs Based Campuses: (860) 486-4526 or (860) 486-5684
Official Website:  http://audit.uconn.edu/storrs-compliance/ or http://lr.uconn.edu

 

Purpose:
The employment or contracting for service of relatives in the same department or area of an organization may cause conflicts and serve as the basis for complaints concerning disparate treatment and favoritism as well as violations of the state’s Ethics statute.

This policy is established to protect against such conflicts and complaints, and to provide for the ethical and legally consistent treatment of individuals with relatives seeking employment or who are employed by the University.

Policy:
No employee of the University of Connecticut may be the direct supervisor of or take any action which would affect the financial interests of one’s relative. This may include decisions regarding appointment, award of a contract, promotion, demotion, disciplinary action, discharge, assignment, transfer, approval of time-off, and approval of training or development opportunities, as well as conducting performance evaluations or participating in any other employment action, including serving on a search committee acting on a relative’s application, or otherwise acting on behalf of a relative except as noted under “Procedure” below. Further, no employee may use his/her position to influence an employment action of a non-relative if such action would benefit one’s relative.

For purposes of this policy, relative is defined as: spouse, child, step-child, child’s spouse, parent, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, dependent relative or a relative domiciled in the employee’s household.

Procedure:
The University recognizes the potential for conflict of interest, claims of disparate treatment and/ or discrimination in the employment of relatives in the same department, work unit or in a direct or indirect supervisory relationship. The University further recognizes that there are infrequent but compelling circumstances under which such employment relationships may be in the best interests of the institution. Thus, to protect both the involved employee and the institution in those situations, the following procedure must be followed.

  1. No employee may sign any document that would affect an employment action on behalf of a relative.
  2. An employee who is confronted with an employment decision or action involving a relative must inform the immediate supervisor in advance, in writing, of the situation. The employee will describe the relationship and the proposed action requiring a decision by using Section 1 of the Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure form available here.
  3. The COI is submitted through the supervisory chain to the dean/director and then to the appropriate senior manager.  Using Section 2 of the COI Disclosure form, the dean/director shall propose to the senior manager an appropriate conflict resolution plan (CRP) to resolve the conflict.  In general the CRP  should address how the required decisions will be made to avoid any conflicts.
  4. The senior manager shall determine if the proposed plan for the resolution of the conflict is within the best interest of the institution, and approve or modify the plan using Section 3 of the COI Disclosure form. The written resolution and implementation of the plan shall be communicated to the dean/director and through the supervisory chain to the employee(s) involved in the conflict of interest.
  5. The supervisor, dean/director, or provost/vice president (the first level outside of the reporting process of each person in the conflict) shall oversee the implementation of CRP.
  6. Should the conflict involve the provost or a vice president, then the actions/decision shall be directed to the president or designee.

Note:  Under no circumstances will the University approve the employment of dependent children or step-children as student employees under direct or indirect supervisory relationships.

* Senior Manager is defined as the Provost or Vice President level.

This policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on 11-09-2010.