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Question about nepotism...

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Old 10-01-2002, 11:45 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Question about nepotism...

Anyone here a lawyer or Human Resources expert?

My younger brother has become involved in a rather suspect situation where he works. He is a CNA at a local retirement home and recently the home decided to hire 2 CNA supervisors. At first he was not going to apply, given that he has less than half a year of CNA experience, but after finding out it would pay twice as much he went ahead and put in an application. (He has a young wife and baby on the way in 3 he can use the extra money!). Several other employees encouraged him to apply since he is a favorite amongst the staff, has been given several excellent evaluations and regularly takes on double shifts when other CNA's fail to show up for work.

Today he found out that he did not get the big deal as he really did not think he was going to get it anyway. They gave him a letter saying he is an excellent employee but just did not have the medical experience big deal, he can live with that....until he found out who they DID hire- The 18 year old brother of one of the Retirement Center's administrators! This kid (who is a perfectly nice kid) trained at the exact same time as my brother, and has a habit of being a bit immature while at work. Needless to say, the other CNAs were so angry they yelled at the kid and caused him to cry...(might be hard to supervise people who hate you!)

My question is- does anyone know of a law that would prevent this...or a way of finding out about nepotism laws? I would have no idea where to start but the whole situation has left him more than a little angry...which is not good when you have a baby coming!
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Old 10-02-2002, 07:47 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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There are nepotism laws?
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Old 10-02-2002, 08:52 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Doing a quick search of "nepotism laws" on Google, it looks like they do exist, but only in the "public" context. Meaning, the laws apply to legislatures, government offices, higher education institutions, etc. I only scanned a few pages, but I'm not sure nepotism applies to private institutions - which I'm guessing your brother works for, but I'm not sure.

I can certainly see why he's upset, but not sure if he has any legal basis for a complaint, unless he can prove that he was more qualified than the "kid" who was hired. Even then, if there are no laws covering nepotism in this environment, I don't know what the legal case would be.

If this kid is as immature as you say he is, he might not last long in the position anyway. Let's hope so, because you're right that it's going to be nearly impossible for him to supervise people who don't have any respect for him. He won't have any influence over them at all.

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Old 10-02-2002, 09:02 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Greg -- I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

Nepotism laws are mostly found in the public sector -- government, state-run universities, etc. When I worked for my state, relatives could work for the state, but could NOT both work for the same supervisor, or supervise each other. They could not be in a position to evaluate, hire or fire each other.

Private companies, such as father and son businesses, may hire relatives, but some private companies may have nepotism restrictions.

In my (not so humble) opinion , the most important thing for your brother will be HIS attitude. Will he be able to work under this guy and perform his duties to the best of his abilities, or will he be angry at the decision, feel contempt for the company and the new supervisor, and let his performance deteriorate? He can look up the specific hiring policies in the Personnel Dept., but he probably still has to work under the situation as it stands. Maybe the new guy will learn responsibility from his new position; if not, your brother will then have evidence that he needs to look elsewhere for future employment -- but with HIS work record still intact. (I am sure that he has good sense and strong character, since he's your brother, but sometimes people can change their normal code of behavior when they feel wronged).

Here's some links related to subject -- there are some reasons why hiring relatives can be good for business, according to one business school's findings.

Working with Family

Pluses and Minuses of Nepotism

To Hire (Or Not To Hire) A Relative

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 10-02-2002 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 10-02-2002, 11:12 AM
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paulette conlan paulette conlan is offline
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Consulted with my husband who had practiced pension law(close to but not exactly HR law) and he doesn't think your brother has a case. Neopotism is alive and well in many companies( both private as well as publically owned) and favoritism is extremely difficult to prove. Also he is not aware of any nepotism laws but since new legislation is being written every day he said he could not answer that unequivicaly.

Good luck to your brother. It's a hard world out there-particulary in his line of work. Doesn't sound like the new supervisor has the maturity to last and the situation will probably resolve itself quickly.

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Old 10-02-2002, 12:24 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Thanks for all the informative replies!

Jeanie - I knew about nepotism laws in most states applying to government employees but was not sure if there were any similar laws applying to private or non-profit groups. (as his retirement home is) guys pretty well answered that question!

He was pretty mad yesterday...not really "lawsuit" mad, but mad enough to file a complaint. I'm hoping he does not catch too much flack for a complaint but he should be ok if he does it by the book. He does not really care much for the company (can't blame him!) but I doubt he will let it affect his work...and the residents like him so much they would probably go ballistic if he was ever fired for complaining. If you ever end up in a retirement home...(and I honestly hope no one does) he is the type of person you would want taking care of you! I'm actually very proud of him since he was a bit of a wandering spirit prior to this year...hitchhiking across country, etc...He seems to have found his niche in the world only to have a sour situation make him cynical.
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Old 10-02-2002, 12:28 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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I have to agree with everyone else here. If the kid is as green as you say then all your brother should do is sit back and as calmly as possible wait til the kid has enough rope to hang himself. Figuratively speaking of course.

I saw this happen at a place I worked at where a lowly Fork lift driver became Manager over a plant in a few months time because he was nephew to the Union Boss who stuck a deal with the company. What was once a nice young man turned out to be a tyrant in a job he couldn't handle. Of course that place totally bit the dust so he got the boot with the entire work force before he could actually screw up himself but it's a common occurance and it sucks. I hope your brother can deal with it and see how things go before lossing his cool and possibly jeoprodizing his situation.
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Old 10-02-2002, 04:20 PM
dcarr dcarr is offline
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You might try checking the Fair Employment Act as well as contact the National Labor Review Board Chapter in your state. They are great at advice needed in a variety of situations. This could be a possible discrimination case.
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Old 10-02-2002, 07:28 PM
Mig Mig is offline
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I'm a pediatric nurse and I've seen this type of thing before. I'm sure it happens everywhere, but in medicine it's touchy when people get jobs when they aren't qualified. Unfortunately it's the patients who suffer, or the residents in the case of your brother.
The 18 year old will likely fail in the job without anyone's help. It's as simple as that. Your brother should be patient. It could be his promotion in 2003 if he works hard and doesn't do anything stupid.

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