3004: Employment of Relatives, Domestic Partners and Significant Others

It is in the ESU’s best interest to hire the best qualified candidate for employment. However, the ESU must use sound judgment in hiring and placing employees who are closely related, reside together as domestic partners, or are involved in close relationships for the following reasons: avoiding conflict of interest and the appearance of a conflict of interest; avoiding favoritism and the appearance of favoritism; promoting collegiality among employees; minimizing lost productivity; easing the task of managing employees; avoiding friction and conflict when marriages or relationships break down; and avoiding claims of sexual harassment.

For the purposes of this policy, the term “relative” refers to a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, first cousin, or corresponding in-law or “step” relation. “Domestic partner” refers to individuals who reside in the same household and are involved in a relationship, who may hold themselves out to the public as marital partners, but who are not legally married. “Significant others” refers to individuals who are dating or engaged to be married but may or may not reside together. This policy applies to all categories of employment including regular, temporary, and part-time classifications.

Generally, an employee’s relative, domestic partner, or significant other should not be hired to work in the same department as the employee or in any other position in which the ESU believes a conflict or the appearance of a conflict may exist. Relatives, domestic partners, and significant others are permitted to work at the ESU provided one does not report directly to, supervise, or manage the other. The administrator and/or board may make exceptions to this general rule.

Employees in a supervisory-subordinate relationship or employed in the same department who marry, become domestic partners, or become significant others while employed will be treated in accordance with these guidelines, and one of the employees will be transferred at the earliest practicable time. The transfer will be voluntary when possible. When a voluntary transfer is not possible, the administrator will make the decision based upon the importance of each job, the needs of the ESU, and the availability of candidates to fill either position. The ESU shall endeavor to place the transferred employee in a position which is similar in terms of pay and benefits. The administrator and/or board may make exceptions to this general rule.

Adopted on: June 11, 2018
Revised on: _______________
Reviewed on: June 14, 2021