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BUREAU OF HUMAN RESOURCES
HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY AND PRACTICES MANUAL


6.3 NEPOTISM


Personnel Bulletin 8.7 (July 23, 1975) explains the state's long-standing policy with respect to nepotism in hiring and promotional practices in state government. Personnel Bulletin 8.7 was issued in response to 5 MRSA, 7051 (formerly 558), sub- 3.

The nepotism policy deals only with matters of hiring and promotion. There is no provision of statute, rule, or policy that restricts or impedes supervisory relationships among family members; hence, supervisory relationships that include family members are guided by consideration of sound management practice.

The law prohibits certain family members from participating in the final decision as to whether a person is hired or promoted. Family members who are prohibited from participating in hiring and promotion decisions are defined as being "...persons related to the job candidate by consanguinity [blood relationship] or affinity [relationship by marriage] within the 4th degree." Personnel Bulletin 8.7 includes a particularly complicated explanation of these relationships, based upon complex degrees of kindred established in civil law.

As a matter of practical application, the Bureau of Human Resources recommends that relatives of a candidate for appointment or promotion should not take any role whatsoever in a selection process. Turning again to the principles of sound management practice, if such a selection were subsequently found to be inappropriate, the selection could be negated with negative consequences for the program and all of the individuals involved. Even if the selection process was technically correct, the perception of nepotism could also have a negative impact on all concerned.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Personnel Bulletin 8.7

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