Nepotism/Employment of Relatives

Policy Number: IV.07
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: November 18, 2013
Reviewed:  November 10, 2017

Policy Owner: VP for Financial Affairs
Policy Implementation: VP for Financial Affairs, Director of Human Resources

I.  Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with the University’s Non-Discrimination/Equal Opportunity Policy, Athens State does not discriminate in its employment and personnel actions. The University’s employment decisions are based on qualifications for the position, ability and performance and other objective standards.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the University avoids favoritism, the appearance of favoritism or conflict of interest in employment decisions.

II. Employment of Relatives of the President or a Member of the Board of Trustees

Pursuant to Section 41-1-5 of the Code of Alabama, the President of the University and members of the Athens State University Board of Trustees are prohibited from appointing any person related within the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity to an employment position.

III.  Employment of Relatives of Other Employees

Athens State University does permit the employment of qualified relatives of employees (excluding those named above) as long as employment does not place a relative in the same chain-of-command. Specifically, no individual will be hired as a regular, temporary, or student employee either part-time or full-time, for a position over which a member of the individual’s immediate family exercises supervisory or managerial authority or is within the chain-of-command where influence over work responsibilities, disciplinary actions, hiring, promoting, evaluating, compensating, or terminating of the individual being hired is present.

For the purposes of this policy, immediate family includes, spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, first cousin, corresponding in-laws, step-relations, foster- relations or any member of the employee’s household.

Should a personal or family relationship develop during employment, both parties may retain their positions, unless a direct supervisory relationship results. If any employees enter into a family relationship as listed in this policy, one of the employees must seek transfer or a change in reporting relationship. In the case of employment relationships which would otherwise violate this policy but were in place prior to this policy’s implementation, there shall be no required change provided that the University takes appropriate action to insure that employees neither initiate nor participate in decisions involving direct benefit to the relative.

Also, the University reserves the right to refuse employment to an individual in the same unit wherein his/her relationship to a current employee has the potential for an adverse impact on supervision, safety, security, morale, or where the employment presents a clear conflict of interest.

IV.  Disclosure of Employment of Relatives

 As part of the employment process, within 15 calendar days of employment, an individual accepting employment at the University must complete the Family Relationship Disclosure Form. A copy of the completed form will be provided to the President of the University. The President of the University, at the next meeting of the Board of Trustees, will provide a notice of such disclosure.

V.  Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the Vice President for Financial Affairs is the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy. Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every 3 years or more frequently as needed.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Vice President for Financial Affairs and the Director of Human Resources.