4-6: Nepotism

Policy Overview

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) is committed to hiring and appointing individuals to positions within the College based on their experience, credentials and expertise. In order to avoid actual or perceived favoritism or conflict of interest, the College has adopted this policy governing the hiring and supervision of near relatives.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all SFCC employees.

Policy Statement

The College prohibits employees from participating in performance assessments, decision making processes, approvals, or other actions affecting the hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, salary determinations, retention termination, supervision or other employment actions of their own near relatives or a person with whom they are having a consensual relationship. Near relatives of Governing Board members, the President, or individuals with whom a Governing Board member or the President has a consensual relationship may not be hired by the College and may not be awarded contracts to perform services.


  1. Consensual Relationship Means any dating, romantic or sexual relationship free of coercion.
  2. Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
  3. Near Relative for purposes of this policy, include spouse, domestic partner, parents, brothers, sisters, children, stepparents, stepbrothers and stepsisters, stepchildren, parents-in-law, brothers- and sisters-in-law, sons- and daughters-in-law, and the immediate family members (parents, brothers and sisters, and children) of spouses and domestic partners, or is a person who receives financial support of more than 25 percent of their annual income, or is a person claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. This policy applies whether the relationship exists at the time of election or is established later.

Policy Process

A. The employee must notify the Office of Human Resources so they may review the implications of the proposed working relationship.
B. Employees may not, directly or through the chain of command, supervise their near relative or a person with whom they have a consensual relationship. The President may approve an exception to this prohibition under extraordinary circumstances, such as when a competitive hiring process has failed to find an equally qualified candidate as the near relative or person with whom the employee is having a consensual relationship. In the event the President seeks employment for a family member or a near relative, it must be approved by the Governing Board.
C. To approve an exception, the President will provide written justification that includes:

1. An analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the near relative or person with whom an employee is having a consensual relationship in the chain of command of an existing employee;
2. A complete description of the supervisory relationship between the near relatives or person with whom the employee is having a consensual relationship; and
3. An explanation as to how any conflict-of-interest situations will be avoided, including safeguards to ensure that the near relatives do not exercise influence over one another’s hiring, discipline, compensation, benefits, or termination.

D. Documentation will be maintained in the personnel files of all employees involved in the Office of Human Resources. In the case of a conflict of interest involving the President, the Governing Board may approve an exception to this prohibition under the same conditions.
E. An employee who violates this policy may be subject to SFCC Policy 4-2 SFCC Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action, up to and including termination of employment. The discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the situation as set out in the procedures of SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Vice President for Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness and the Director of Human Resources, shall be responsible for enforcing human resources procedures and policies. The Office of Human Resources shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention, and remediation.


SFCC Policy 4-2 Employee Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action


Approved by the SFCC Governing Board: 5/22/08
Revised and Governing Board approved: 9/28/16

Associated Procedures