Employment of Relatives and Household Members

PPM 3-6, Employment of Relatives and
Household Members

Responsible Office: 
Human Resources



This policy outlines how the University handles employment of individuals in close relationships to decision-makers to minimize the negative impact on productivity and job satisfaction created by such conflicts of interest or the perception of such conflicts of interest. This policy is intended to meet the requirements of Utah Code Ann. § 52-3-1 and address other instances of possible conflicts of interest.


This policy applies to any individual holding a position for which payment is made from public funds administered by the University. This policy does not apply to unpaid volunteers approved through the Human Resources Department.


3.1 Utah Code Ann. § 52-3-1, et. seq. Prohibiting Employment of Relatives

3.2 Utah Code Ann. § 67-16-1, et. seq., Utah Public Officers’ and Employees’ Ethics Act


4.1     Direct Supervisory Relationship - Where one employee is responsible for immediate supervision of another employee,  which may include such activities as assigning duties, allocating salary, arranging schedules, allocating equipment or facilities, budgetary decisions, or handling matters involving discipline, termination, or promotion. For purposes of this      policy, department chairs are considered to be in a direct supervisory relationship with faculty in their department.                  Determinations about whether a direct supervisory relationship exists will be made by the Human Resources                            Department.

4.2     Household Member - A person who resides in the same residence as the employee.

4.3     Nepotistic relationship - When an employee is in one of the following relationships to another employee: father, mother, spouse, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, or granddaughter. Step or foster            relationships are included. Also included are household members.


5.1    Prohibitions

5.1.1     Employees may not directly supervise other employees with whom they have a nepotistic relationship. All employees are required to act in accordance with the prohibition against nepotistic relationships. This includes employees’ decisions to hire, appoint, or recommend or vote for appointment, accept or retain a position, or                      create or assist in the creation of situations that involve nepotistic relationships.

5.1.2     An employee may not hire or engage in the duties of a direct supervisor over an individual who has a nepotistic  relationship with the employee’s superior.

5.1.3     A supervisor may not be the direct supervisor over two individuals who have a nepotistic relationship with each other.

5.2 Resolution of Conflicts of Interest

5.2.1     Resolutions of conflicts prohibited by Sections 5.1.1 may be approved by the President where the President has    determined the following:     The subordinate employee is the only qualified person available ­­­for the position; or     The supervisory employee is the only qualified person available to perform supervisory functions for the subordinate employee; and      Conflicts of interest can be appropriately managed as described in Section 5.3.

5.2.2      Resolutions of conflicts of interest prohibited by Sections 5.1.2 and 5.1.3 may be made at the discretion of the      supervising Vice President, upon a determination that the conflicts of interest can be appropriately managed as described Section 5.3. In rare instances, special consideration may be given in the case of tandem teams of personnel involving spouse or domestic partner combinations where the employment of both offers a significant program advantage.

5.2.3      If a Vice President has a conflict of interest in making a decision about a resolution described herein, the decision will be made by the President. If the President has a conflict of interest in making a decision about a resolution described herein, the Board of Trustees must approve the resolution.

5.2.4      The University has the discretion to not approve or not allow a supervisory/subordinate relationship to be          created or continue upon discovery. If a supervisory/subordinate relationship is discovered to be a violation of                  this policy, the University may take such action which in its discretion may be necessary to eliminate the                          conflict of interest and comply with applicable law, which may include transfer, reorganization, or termination of              employees.

5.3 Management Provisions

5.3.1     At any point it is anticipated or discovered that the University may employ or retain an individual in a position  that creates a violation of this policy, both employees must make a complete written disclosure of such                              relationship to the AVP of Human Resources.

5.3.2     When resolutions are requested under Section 5.2, a written request must be submitted to the AVP of Human      Resources explaining the nepotistic relationship and the reasons for the agreeing to the resolution. The person                  with authority to approve the resolution under Section 5.2 and the AVP of Human Resources must agree to a                      clear, written understanding of how direct supervisory functions will be handled so as to eliminate any conflicts              of interest and otherwise comply with the requirements of Utah Code Ann. § 52-3-1. When one of the individuals            is a new hire or transfer, a copy of the approved arrangement must accompany the payroll action request form                  used to implement the appointment.

5.3.3     Human Resources must review the arrangement at least every two years and take action as deemed necessary to ensure compliance with this policy.


Revision History: 

Creation Date: 9-17-1977

Amended: 3-18-14, 9-15-20, 7-12-21 (ed)