Nepotism Guidelines

NEPOTISM WITHIN STATE GOVERNMENT:
Nepotism Guidelines for all Jacksonville State University Employees

  • Nepotism law/policy effective August 2013
  • JSU employees may not hire or supervise immediate family members
  • This law/policy does not prohibit the continued employment of anyone employed before August 1, 2013
  • Violations may result in serious consequences

The Alabama Legislature passed Senate Bill 146 addressing nepotism in state government. This new law prohibits employees of the state from appointing or entering a personal service contract with any person related to him/her within the fourth degree of affinity (marriage) or consanguinity (blood relation) to any job or position of profit with the state or any of its agencies. Please view the Nepotism Family Member chart for more information.

No employee shall be the immediate supervisor for or in the chain of command (i.e. participate in work-related decisions in regards to hiring, evaluation, reassignment, promotion or discipline) of an immediate family member.

Violations may have significant consequences both within the University and at the state level.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

BE AWARE: Familiarize yourself with the University’s Nepotism Policy and how it applies to you.

BE DILIGENT: Ensure you are following the established policy.

BE PROACTIVE: If you are considering hiring a family member and are unsure if the reporting relationship is permitted, contact the Department of Human Resources: jsu.hr.edu/nepotism.

BE RESPONSIBLE: If you find yourself in a situation that may conflict with the policy/law due to promotion or transfer, please alert the Department of Human Resources immediately to determine the appropriate course of action.

JSU policy, Nepotism—1:02:23, has been revised to reflect the new requirements. Exceptions to the policy may only be granted if a position can be structured to ensure no prohibited working relationship exists among family members. Exceptions must be requested in writing to the Department of Human Resources using the appropriate form (Department Nepotism Disclosure Form).     For more information, visit jsu.edu/nepotism.

NEPOTISM (POLICY 1:02:23)

Definition: For the purpose of this policy, “relationship” is defined as individuals related by blood, marriage, adoption (e.g.. father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister), Alabama Code, Section 41-1-5 (1975),  domestic partnership, dating, or other personal relationship in which objectivity might be impaired.

"Line of Authority" is defined as authority extending vertically through one or more organizational levels of supervision or management.
  • Recruitment of new hire – if a candidate has disclosed on the employment application that he/she has a relationship based on the above definition, upon hire, a Nepotism Self-Disclosure Form must be completed and submitted to the Department of Human Resources.
  • Current University employees – an employee that has a relationship with another University employee as described above must disclose the relationship by completing the Nepotism Self-Disclosure Form and submitting it to the Department of Human Resources for review and approval.
  • Approved copies are sent to the impacted employees and their Supervisors with the original being housed in employees’ personnel file within the Department of Human Resources.
  • Yearly follow-up (as outlined in the guidelines) are to be scheduled.

GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYMENT OF INTRADEPARTMENTAL RELATED INDIVIDUALS

The employment of related individuals in the same department or unit is discouraged by university policy.  All possibilities of employment in other areas of the University should be pursued first.  If none are available, then the Executive Director of the Division of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Vice President of the hiring department or Provost will evaluate such a request when the related individual possesses unique skills required to fill the position and/or skills that cannot be easily obtained in order to meet the needs of the unit, department or project. 

The following guidelines shall apply where two related individuals, as defined in Jacksonville State University’s Nepotism Policy 1:02:23, will be or are currently employed in the same department or unit:

Primary requirement:

The employee shall possess unique skills required to fill the position and/or skills that cannot be easily obtained to meet the needs of a particular project.

Reporting Structure:
  • The employee shall not be under the direct or indirect supervision or control of a related individual.
  • The employee shall report to a supervisor at a higher level than the related individual who is able to supervise and evaluate the employee’s day to day responsibilities. For example, if the related individual is a Director/Manager, the employee will report to a Vice President, Department Chair, or Dean/Designee.
Supervisor Responsibilities
  • The employee’s supervisor shall make all decisions regarding salary, performance evaluations, promotions, university travel and time-off.
  • Joint university travel between the related individuals shall not be permitted unless it is critical for the completion of an assignment. The travel authorization must clearly state that joint travel is being undertaken and must provide justification.
  • The employee’s supervisor shall make decisions regarding expenditure of funds including, without limitation, the purchase of capital equipment, directed at the related individual. 
Monitoring:
  • The supervisor shall refer to the Department of Human Resources for further evaluation and follow up on any questions or concerns raised by faculty, staff or student employees regarding two or more related individuals working in the same department.
  • The Department of Human Resources may solicit an evaluation conducted by the employee’s supervisor, of the team’s working environment when two or more individuals who are related work in the same Division, Department, or Unit. This evaluation will be conducted at least annually and a copy of the results shall be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources.
  • An evaluation may be initiated prior to the annual review as deemed appropriate by the University.

These guidelines do not negate the requirement of completing a Nepotism Disclosure Form.   Any existing cases of related individuals employed in the same department or unit for which a Nepotism Disclosure Form was not submitted for approval will require completion and approval of this form.