Nepotism Policy

Rationale:

SUNY Oneonta is strongly committed to being a community that promotes the exchange of ideas, builds mutual trust and respect, encourages communication, and reduces misunderstandings.  This policy addresses situations that may lead to a breakdown of trust and respect as a result of conflicts of interest related to real or perceived nepotism at SUNY Oneonta. Nepotism is defined here as the making by an employee of any official employment decision concerning a member of the employee's immediate family. When decisions are made that directly impact employees, each employee situation should be considered on her/his own merits and no supervisor or administrator should participate in any personnel actions or decision affecting a member of his or her immediate family.

Policy Statement

1.) Nepotism is prohibited.  No individual shall be a part of any official employment decision concerning a member of his or her immediate family.

2.) No employee may be the immediate supervisor of an immediate family member. In such case, the immediate family member will be supervised by the next level supervisor.

Elaboration:  

Nepotism policies were eliminated from the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees in the 1970s. As a result there are no longer any prohibitions against relatives being appointed to work in the same departments. However, paragraph 3(f) of section 74 (Code of Ethics) of the NYS Public Officers Law states:

"An officer or employee of a state agency, member of the legislature or legislative employee should not by his conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence him or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person."

The College strives to create a fair and welcoming environment for all employees. When a party in a position of authority is making employment decisions concerning a member of his or her immediate family, there may be a real or perceived impropriety, sense of favoritism, loss of objectivity, and a conflict of interest in any supervisory or other professional role.  This potential conflict of interest may negatively affect others in the department, office, team, or unit and could result in a hostile working environment. The relationship may damage the credibility or reputation of the employee, the department, or the College as a whole and may expose individuals or the institution to legal action and liability.        

Procedure:     

It is the responsibility of the employee who will potentially be making the employment decisions to disclose the relationship to Human Resources and to remove her/himself from situations violating this policy. He/she may be held accountable for any violations of this policy. Any appropriate administrative or disciplinary action may be taken, as provided for in collective bargaining agreements, where applicable, including discipline. 

Related Policies:         College Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures Consensual Relationship Policy

Contacts:                        Human Resources; 208 Netzer Administration Building;  607-436-2509

Effective Date:           Approved by the President __________________________

 

APPENDIX

 

DEFINITIONS:

  1. For the purpose of this policy, “Immediate family” is defined as any domestic partner, relative, relative in-law or children of spouses or domestic partners of any employee regardless of residence or any person with whom an employee has been making his or her home.

 

  1. “Employment Decisions” are defined as personnel actions which include, but are not limited to hiring process, discipline, performance evaluation, promotion, tenure, demotion, transfer, discharge, employment, layoff, conditions of work, rates of pay, or similar financial decisions, as well as selection for training, and terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

 

  1. “Employee” shall mean and refer to any person whose primary role within the College community is as a member of the faculty or staff.