Conflict of Interest/Nepotism

Overview

It is the State's responsibility to conduct employment matters in a manner that avoids not only conflicts of interest, but also any appearance of a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest may arise in: hiring employees; their employment by the State in more than one capacity; outside employment or activities engaged in by employees; and the award of contracts to employees.

The primary goal is to avoid instances in which the hiring process or any term or condition of employment is inappropriately influenced by such familial or other relationships, or the perception among members of the public or other employees of such impropriety.

Policy

It is the general policy of the State that no one will be employed in the same department, institution, or organizational unit that employs a relative. In addition, it is the general policy of the State that no one will be employed in the same department, institution, or organizational unit as a person with whom he or she resides, or the relative of a person with whom he or she resides. It is important to note that the definition of "relative," for purposes of State Policy, includes spouses, civil union partners, and domestic partners, in addition to the other familial relationships listed in the definition in State Policy.

How Do I Request a Waiver?

Requests for waiver of the general policy may be submitted in writing to the Commissioner of Human Resources. Waiver requests will be evaluated to determine the extent of current or potential conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof. The Commissioner's consideration will include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • the size of the employer;
  • the closeness or remoteness of the relationship between the family members or co-habitants;
  • the reporting relationships within the organization and the likelihood that the employees would work together or either employee would be in a position to influence any aspect of the other’s employment;
  • the degree to which the action would aid the department in attaining an applicable affirmative action goal;
  • the level, status, and geographic location of the positions;
  • the extent to which the proposed employment may reduce management's flexibility with respect to work assignments or future transfer or promotion of such person;
  • the availability of other qualified, suitable, and interested applicants for the position, as demonstrated by the documented results of the recruitment effort for the position that is the subject of the waiver request.

With extremely limited exceptions, waivers will not be approved to allow employment of a person in any case in which the waiver would be necessary because of a relationship with a management employee (either classified or exempt) of the department.

Relevant Policy

Conflicts of Interest Arising from Employment, Number 5.2