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Nepotism Avoidance Procedure - 63.09.13

College Policy Number/Title:

When a family member of a current Howard Community College employee is considered for hiring, potential ethical issues need to be considered carefully and conflicts with policy 63.09, Ethics and Conduct and the Maryland Ethics Law must be avoided.    

Specifically, the Maryland Ethics Law requires “non-participation” in any decision or influence pertaining to a qualifying relative of an employee.  Under the Maryland Ethics Law, a “qualifying relative” includes parents, brothers, sisters, children, and spouse.  In addition, the Maryland Ethics Law provides that an employee cannot misuse his or her position for the gain of someone who is not otherwise the best person for a job or for some other gain.

For these reasons, this procedure places particular constraints on hiring.  If an employee has a “qualifying relative” applying for a position, a conflict of interest, a conflict of “non-participation,” or potential or apparent conflict of interest, this should be disclosed and the employee should recuse himself or herself from the search and selection process.

Employment placements will not be made or continued where one employee is in a position to supervise or influence a “qualifying relative’s” rate of pay, appointment, work assignments, promotion or demotion, discipline or dismissal, or any other working conditions, or where the handling of confidential information could create work situations in which there may be a real or apparent conflict of interest.  This procedure applies to all employment, including adjunct faculty and hourly/temporary employment.

Because these specific constraints do not cover all conceivable ethical conflicts, employees are asked to think carefully about situations not specifically prohibited and to disclose any potential conflict situations and situations where there could be even the appearance of conflict of interest.  For example, if there is a relationship not covered by the Maryland Ethics Law’s “qualifying relative,” such as a cousin or close friend, the relationship will be disclosed to the area vice president who will make a decision about whether or not there is a conflict of interest or an appearance of conflict of interest sufficient to prohibit the situation.

If two current employees become “qualifying relatives,” thus creating a conflict with this procedure, the college will make every effort to rectify the situation.  If there are no opportunities to move one of the related employees into another job or otherwise resolve the conflict, it may not be possible to continue to employ both individuals.

Effective Date:  05/08/15

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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