Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

PERSONNEL
60.14
Revised 6-10
Human Resource Services
335-4521

Nepotism

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POLICY

The University does not permit employees to supervise or to participate in employment decisions (including hiring/appointment decisions) affecting family members, household members, intimate partners, or state-registered domestic partners. The purpose of this policy is to minimize the potential for conflict of interest.

The University's objective is to employ qualified persons in all employment positions and to ensure merit-based supervision. This policy is not to be read to justify hiring decisions that violate the University's policy against discrimination (EP15), but rather to ensure that hiring and supervision by family members, household members, intimate partners, and state-registered domestic partners does not occur, except in the very limited circumstances described in this section (60.14).

Definitions

Family Member

Family members are defined as the employee's parent, spouse, child, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepchild, and stepparent.

Household Member

Household members are defined as persons who reside in the same home who have reciprocal duties to and do provide financial and/or emotional support for one another. This term includes, but is not limited to, foster children and legal wards. The term does not include persons sharing the same general house when the living style is primarily that of a dormitory or commune and the relationship between the prospective or actual superior/subordinate is not an intimate one.

Intimate Partner

An intimate partner is a person with whom an employee is having a current romantic and/or sexual relationship.

Faculty

No faculty member, department chair, dean, or other administrative officer may vote, make recommendations, or in any other way participate in the decision of any matter that may materially affect the appointment, tenure, promotion, salary, or any other status or interest of such person's family member, household member, intimate partner, or state-registered domestic partner.

Administrative Professional, Classified Employees, and Other Nonfaculty Employees

No administrative professional employee, classified employee, or other nonfaculty employee may supervise, vote, make recommendations, or in any other way participate in the decision of any matter that may materially affect the appointment, tenure, promotion, salary, or other status or interest of such employee's family member, household member, intimate partner, or state-registered domestic partner.

Other Employees

The provisions of this section (60.14) also apply to employees holding the following appointments: temporary and hourly, workstudy, graduate student, and post-doctoral.

EXCEPTION REQUEST REGARDING SUPERVISION

An appointing authority may request approval for employment of family members, household members, intimate partners or state-registered domestic partners in superior/subordinate relationships. This approval permits an employee to be in the direct supervisory chain above or below a family member, household member, intimate partner, or state-registered domestic partner. See 60.10 for information regarding appointing authority.

This approval does not permit a superior to participate in decisions affecting a family member, household member, intimate partner, or state-registered domestic partner prior to offering and filling the position.

See also EP28 regarding superior/subordinate relationships.

Procedure

The appointing authority prepares a request memorandum including the following:

The request memorandum is to be signed by the appointing authority and the third party designated for involvement in employment decisions.

WSU Approval At Pullman And Locations Other Than Regional Campuses

For exceptions involving employees at WSU Pullman and employees at locations other than the regional campuses, the appointing authority submits the memorandum to the responsible vice president or the Provost and Executive Vice President. The appointing authority sends a copy of the memorandum to Human Resource Services (HRS).

If approved by the vice president or the Provost and Executive Vice President, the memorandum and signed approvals are routed to HRS. If not approved, the vice president or Provost and Executive Vice President provides written notification to the appointing authority and routes a copy to HRS.

Regional Campus Approval Faculty

For exceptions involving faculty at the regional campuses the appointing authority submits the memorandum to the responsible chancellor. The chancellor reviews the arrangement and if he or she approves, forwards the memorandum to the Provost and Executive Vice President for final approval. The appointing authority sends a copy of the memorandum to Pullman HRS.

If approved by the chancellor and the Provost and Executive Vice President, the memorandum and signed approvals are routed to HRS. If not approved, the chancellor or Provost and Executive Vice President provides written notification to the appointing authority and routes a copy to Pullman HRS.

Regional Campus Approval Staff

For exceptions involving staff at the regional campuses the appointing authority submits the memorandum to the responsible chancellor for final approval. The appointing authority sends a copy of the memorandum to Pullman HRS.

If approved by the chancellor, the memorandum and signed approvals are routed to HRS. If not approved, the chancellor provides written notification to the appointing authority and routes a copy to Pullman HRS.

Records Maintenance

Pullman HRS maintains the records of the exception and approval or denial. Pullman HRS maintains these records in the official personnel files for faculty, administrative professional employees, and classified employees.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Employee

An employee is responsible for disclosing any qualifying relationship (i.e., family member, household member, or intimate partner as defined in this policy or state-registered domestic partner) with anyone in his or her supervisory chain.

Any employee may report concerns regarding possible violations of this policy to HRS or the Office of Internal Audit.

Supervisor

Each supervisor is responsible for reporting violations of this policy to his or her appointing authority.

A supervisor is responsible for reporting an amorous relationship with a subordinate in conformance with the Policy on Faculty-Student and Supervisor-Subordinate Relationships, EP28.

Appointing Authority

The appointing authority is responsible for taking appropriate action to address and resolve situations of actual or perceived nepotism. The appointing authority may consult with or refer the situation to Human Resource Services or the Office of Internal Audit.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information, contact the Provost's Office, Human Resource Services, or the Office of Internal Audit.

PURCHASING

See 70.15 for a discussion of conflict of interest regarding purchasing from family members. (RCW 42.52)