Agenda Item No.

Washburn University Board of Regents



SUBJECT: Nepotism Policy



DESCRIPTION: The current University policy on nepotism is limited in its application to family relationships. There are other relationships which, if the persons involved are in reporting to one another, could create conflicts of interest and adversely affect the work environment for others in the unit creating a hostile work environment. Examples of relationships not addressed in the current policy are in-laws and members of the same household.



The administration proposes a revision to the nepotism policy to remove the potential for issues of favoritism, conflicts in loyalty, discrimination, the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest and the potential for hostile work environment. The proposed revision does not impact any current employees nor does it prohibit employees related by blood or marriage or other relationship from employment at the University. The proposed revised Nepotism Policy is below.



Nepotism Policy



No University officer or employee shall: (i) participate in decisions directly involving the terms and conditions of employment of a family or household member or of a ward; or, (ii) advocate, participate in, solicit or cause the employment, appointment, promotion, transfer or discipline of a family or household member or of a ward. This policy shall not be applicable to employment relationships at the University prior to the effective date of this policy.



Exceptions: This policy does not preclude the employment or continued employment, by the University, of a family or household member or a ward if, in the opinion of the appointing authority: (i), such employment does not significantly adversely affect the efficient, safe and orderly operation of the unit in which such persons are, or are to be, employed; or, (ii) reasonable accommodations may be made, without removing the essential functions of either position; or, (iii) the administrative relationship of the positions does not significantly or adversely affect the efficient, safe and orderly operation of the unit. In evaluating each instance, the best interests of the University shall be paramount and decisions made on the basis of the essential functions of the position, and the unit in which such position is located, and the qualifications of the individuals affected. It shall not be presumed, in instances in which one's employment will be altered or affected, that the younger person or, when both genders are represented, that the female will be the person so affected.



Definitions



1. ""Employment" means any appointment to the faculty or staff as a temporary, incidental, adjunct, student or regular employee.



2. "Family member" means:

(a) a spouse, parent, child, or sibling;

(b) a sibling, as denoted by the prefix "half";

(c) a parent, child, or sibling, as denoted by the prefix "step";

(d) a foster child;

(e) a nephew, niece, uncle or aunt;

(f) any parent or child of a preceding or subsequent generation, as denoted by the prefix of "grand" or "great"; or,

(g) parent, child or sibling related by marriage as denoted by the suffix of "in-law."



3. "Household member" means a person having legal residence in or living in the officer's or employee's place of residence.



4. "Terms and conditions of employment" includes, but is not limited to, appointments, retention, promotions, salaries/wages, fringe benefits, and supervision/discipline of an employee.



Purpose: The purpose of the policy is to avoid the potential for issues of favoritism, conflicts in loyalty, discrimination, the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest and the potential for hostile work environment.











FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: None









RECOMMENDATION: President Farley recommends Board approval of the draft revised Nepotism Policy











_______________________ _________________________

(date) Jerry B. Farley, President


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