Office of the President

Nepotism Policy; Superceded by EM 05-016

Executive Memorandum 02-009 March 25, 2002

From: Manuel A. Esteban, PresidentSubject: Nepotism Policy; Superceded by EM 05-016


It is the policy of the University to seek for its administrators, instructional faculty, and support staff the best possible candidates through appropriate search procedures. The following guidelines are established to insure fair and equal treatment of employees and applicants while minimizing situations that create potential for adverse impact on supervision, safety, security, or morale or involve a conflict of interest. While the University recognizes that the employment of close relatives within an organization creates a potential for favoritism or undue hardship, the University is also aware that a rule excluding close relatives of current employees from employment may deprive the University of qualified, capable employees and potentially violate equal opportunity laws.


No CSU, Chico employee shall vote, make recommendations, or in any way participate in decisions about any personnel or budgetary matter which may directly affect the selection, appointment, retention, tenure, compensation, promotion, work assignment, termination, other employment status, or interest of a close relative.

The term "close relative" as used in these guidelines is defined by the following relationships:

  • By blood: parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin.
  • By Law: husband, wife, domestic partner2 , step-parent, step-child, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, and by guardianship and/or adoption.

Any individual affected by an alleged nepotism situation may pursue the matter by presenting his or her circumstances to the Director of Employment Practices for informal negotiation. If not resolved, the individual may file a grievance.

  • It shall be a violation of these guidelines and of university policy for an employee to initiate or participate in institutional decisions involving direct benefit to a close relative. A nonexclusive list of impermissible involvement includes decisions on appointment, retention, promotion, salary, evaluation, leaves of absence, and scheduling of work assignments.
  • If a nepotic situation occurs and is not otherwise resolved, the appropriate administrator shall take prompt and reasonable measures to rectify the circumstances. Reasonable measures shall include consideration of the rights of all parties, resulting in minimal disruption to the unit while simultaneously preventing the controlling party from directly participating in employment status decisions of his/her relative. Under no circumstances shall a nepotic circumstance continue un-remedied longer than is reasonable as determined by the Director of Employment Practices. Resolution of each case shall be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • This policy also applies to persons whose marital status changes during employment or when either person's position responsibilities change, either of which may result in an employee having direct control over the employment status of his or her close relative. In such cases, the appropriate administrator shall take prompt and reasonable measures to rectify the situation as described in #2 above.

1 Adopted from FSA 78-19, Revised Policy on Nepotism, CSU Office of the Chancellor, March 8, 1978.

2 See definition of domestic partner for purposes of health benefits in Div. 2.5, Sec. 297 of the Family Code of California.