Relatives Employment

The University of Florida is committed to a policy of employment and advancement on qualifications and merit and does not discriminate in favor of or in opposition to the employment of relatives.

The UF Regulation 1.009, Employment of Relatives, specifically prohibits the appointment of relatives or persons living in the same household to any position where a direct or indirect supervisory relationship would exist between relatives or would create a perceived or actual conflict of interest. This includes, but is not limited to appointment, compensation, assignment of work, evaluation, grants administration and sponsored research projects, and financial authority or transactions.

Who is Considered a Relative?

A relative is defined as an individual who is related (or related by law) to the supervisory employee, as follows:

  • Spouse/domestic partner
  • Father/mother (in-law or step)
  • Son/daughter (in-law or step)
  • Grandson/granddaughter (in-law or step)
  • Brother/sister (in-law or step)
  • Uncle/aunt (in-law or step)
  • Nephew/niece (in-law or step)
  • First cousin
  • A person living in the same household as the supervisory employee

What is the Responsibility of the Hiring Department?

  • A unit /department head who supervises relatives must take special measures to avoid any conflict of interest or even the appearance of conflict of interest. This is to prevent any actual or perceived privilege given to a relative – whether a pay raise, a nomination for a prize, or a favorable assignment or schedule – to be interpreted as a result of supervisor bias, no matter how meritorious the relative may be. Any perception of bias may damage a supervisor’s and/or employee’s credibility and have a negative effect on unit morale.
  • In addition, faculty members, staff, or students who have conflicts or complaints regarding these employees, must have access to an unbiased supervisor.
  • Prior to hiring a new employee who is a relative of a current UF employee the Nepotism/Employment of Relatives form must be submitted for the necessary approvals from the department head, dean’s office, Provost office (when faculty is involved), and UF Human Resource Services even if they will have no supervision or interaction with one another.
  • In cases where a familial relationship is formed after initial employment, the new status must be reported and addressed by a mitigation plan.

The University reserves the right to refuse the appointment of a relative in the same department, division, or college wherein his/her relationship to another employee has the potential for creating adverse impact on supervision, security, morale, or conflict of interest.

How and When Do I Submit a Nepotism/Employment of Relatives Approval Form?

A Nepotism Agreement is needed when an employee is being hired at UF in a department or area where someone they are related to is also employed, even if they will have no supervision or interaction with one another.  This form is also needed if an employee’s status in relation to another changes during the course of employment (i.e. get married).

Please visit the Employment of Relatives Petition page to review the steps and the form that needs to be completed.

Prior to Employing Relatives, Consider…

  • Departmental appointments: Relatives may not be appointed to positions such as associate chair, chair of the tenure and promotion committee, graduate coordinator, or undergraduate coordinator without recusing themselves from participation in evaluation of a relative.
  • Assignments: Relatives may not assign one another. Such things as work assignments, or course assignments, must be determined by someone other than a relative, in consultation with appropriate departmental or unit officers and committees, without input from the relative.
  • Evaluations: A supervisor or any other employee may not play any role in the evaluation of any relative. This includes, but is not limited to
    • peer evaluations of teaching.
    • annual letters of evaluation.
    • recommendations for merit pay raises, for which the dean or next level supervisor will have authority, acting on input from any merit pay committee.
    • nominations for college or University prizes or distinctions, and ranking of applications for sabbatical or travel awards.
    • awarding of departmental or unit funds for any purpose (travel, research, conference support, etc.) annual staff evaluations; and/or tenure, permanent status, and promotion assessments.
  • Grant Administration: Family members working on the same grant raises special concerns. Supervision of the work itself falls under the same requirements as for assignments and evaluations above. Oversight of the grant itself, and research compliance, may require an additional reporting line to the college and additional oversight by the Office of Research.
  • Duration: Include information on the duration of the appointments. For example, permanent, grant-specific, summer employment, OPS temporary, specific end date, etc.
  • Financial Responsibility and Risks: Neither employee should have financial authority over the other or be responsible for processing financial transactions in the department or work unit.