Nepotism impartiality definitions and considerations usps law department 2004
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NEPOTISM & IMPARTIALITY: Definitions and Considerations USPS Law Department 2004. NEPOTISM. What is nepotism? “Nepotism” generally refers to favoritism shown to a relative in the workplace on the basis of the personal relationship. What is impartiality?

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NEPOTISM & IMPARTIALITY: Definitions and Considerations USPS Law Department 2004

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Nepotism impartiality definitions and considerations usps law department 2004

NEPOTISM & IMPARTIALITY:

Definitions and Considerations

USPS Law Department

2004


Nepotism

NEPOTISM

What is nepotism?

“Nepotism” generally refers to favoritism shown to a relative in the workplace on the basis of the personal relationship.


Nepotism impartiality definitions and considerations usps law department 2004

What is impartiality?

Impartiality is what we demonstrate when we are fair, rather than partial or biased, in our dealings with other employees.


Nepotism1

NEPOTISM

Why do/must we care about nepotism and impartiality?

  • Criminal statute 18 USC § 208

  • Civil statute 5 USC § 3110

  • USPS rules EL-312, ELM 660

  • Fed. ethics regs 5 CFR § 2635

  • Workplace morale

  • Legal actions, OIG, public opinion, congressional inquiries


Conflict of interest statute 18 usc 208

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATUTE: 18 USC § 208

Under this statute, an employee may not:

  • participate “personally and substantially”

  • in any “particular matter”

  • that would have a “direct and predictable effect” on his financial interests, or those imputed to him.


Impartiality regulation 5 cfr 2635 502

IMPARTIALITY REGULATION: 5 CFR 2635.502

An employee must consider whether her impartiality would reasonably be questioned if she participated in a particular matter involving others with whom she has certain personal or business relationships.

If her impartiality could be questioned, she should not participate in the matter unless she informs an ethics official about the matter and is authorized to proceed.


Anti nepotism statute 5 usc 3110

ANTI-NEPOTISM STATUTE: 5 USC 3110

Prevents a federal employee from:

  • Appointing, employing, promoting or advancing a relative

  • Advocating the appointment, employment, promotion or advancement of a relative


Postal policy el 312

POSTAL POLICY: EL-312

Postal selection policies prohibit an employee from being on a promotion review board, or a selecting official, when the employee’s child, sibling, housemate, parent, or other relative is an applicant.


Nepotism2

NEPOTISM

Spousal Relationships

It is never appropriate for spouses to have a direct reporting relationship.

  • Criminal statute (shared financial interests)

  • Impartiality concerns

  • Appearance issues


Nepotism3

NEPOTISM

Household Members

It is not appropriate for one household member to report to another.

  • Criminal statute does not apply

  • BUT impartiality regulations do apply

  • AND so do appearance issues


Nepotism4

NEPOTISM

Other Relatives

Whether non-spousal relatives may be in reporting relationships depends on the facts of the situation and relevant postal policy.

  • Criminal statute does not apply

  • BUT impartiality regs do apply

  • As do appearance issues


Considerations in non spousal situations

CONSIDERATIONS IN NON-SPOUSAL SITUATIONS

  • What exactly is the nature of the personal relationship between the supervisory and subordinate employees?

  • Are the employees “dating” but not living together?

  • If they are parent and child, siblings, cousins, or in-laws, do they reside in the same household?

  • Do the two employees share any financial interests?


Considerations in non spousal situations1

CONSIDERATIONS IN NON-SPOUSAL SITUATIONS

5. Do the two own any real property together?

6. Have other employees complained about, or simply noted, special treatment being received by the subordinate employee?

7. Is there any evidence of any type of favoritism?

8. Is an investigation necessary in order to elicit answers to these questions?


Nepotism5

NEPOTISM

Attempting to exert influence in a selection, promotion, or transfer matter, especially when it involves a relative, violates the impartiality section of the Standards of Ethical Conduct, and the EL-312.


Nepotism6

NEPOTISM

Responses to these issues:

  • Changes to EL-312 (and corresponding references in ELM 660)

  • Policy changes (add “transfer” to EL-312; direct committee members to recuse if related to any employee under consideration, etc.)

  • Require disclosure from employees

  • Discuss with employees potential problems with reporting relationships


For advice and assistance

FOR ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE

For assistance with matters involving nepotism, please contact:

  • Human Resources

  • Your Field Law Office

    or

  • Chief Counsel, Employment Law, or Chief Counsel, Ethics and Federal Requirements, in the Law Department at Headquarters


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