Employment of Relatives

Purpose

To comply with the University of Illinois Statutes, Article IX, Section 2, which states:

No individual shall initiate or participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit (initial employment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence etc.) to a member of his immediate family. “Immediate family” includes an individual's spouse, ancestors and descendants, all descendants of the individual's grandparents, and the spouse of any of the foregoing. Each chancellor shall develop, for the approval of the president, campus procedures to insure against such conflict of interest.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees.

Authority

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Policy

Employment of immediate family is permissible at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, subject to compliance with University Statutes, resolution of conflicts of interest, and approval of the appointment and resolution of the conflict by the appropriate human resource office(s).

Definitions

Immediate family
includes an individual's spouse or civil union or domestic partner, ancestors and descendants, all descendants of the individual's grandparents, and the spouse or civil union or domestic partner of all of the foregoing.

Processes/Procedures/Guidelines

Compliance

This policy requires each hiring unit to review all situations involving the employment or proposed employment of immediate family members within the unit and to resolve any potential conflicts. All such situations must be reviewed by the appropriate campus level human resources (HR) office(s). These situations include both hiring decisions and changes in existing positions that might create supervisory relationships between immediate family. If the appropriate HR office(s) determines that the employment situation creates, or proposed employment action would create, a conflict of interest that can be effectively managed, a conflict management plan must be developed and approved by the unit/college and all appropriate campus level HR offices. If the campus HR office(s) determines that the employment situation presents, or the proposed employment action would present, a conflict that cannot be effectively managed, the proposed employment action cannot occur, or, in the case of an existing situation, the conflict must be eliminated.

All employees are obligated to report to their supervisor or Unit Executive Officer situations in which they could be in violation of this policy and to remove themselves from initiating or participating in any institutional decisions involving a direct benefit to a family member covered by this policy. In such cases, the unit must develop a conflict-management plan that eliminates or manages any potential conflict of interest. The conflict-management plan must be approved through all appropriate administrative levels. In all cases, approval must be obtained from the appropriate human resources office(s).

The human resource office responsible for reviewing and approving a proposed conflict-management plan will depend upon the positions or classifications held by the employees involved in the conflict. Staff Human Resources is responsible if the conflict involves potential or current civil service employees or extra help employees. Academic Human Resources is responsible if the conflict involves potential or current academic employees, such as faculty members, post-doctoral research assistants, academic professionals or graduate students. The Office of Student Financial Aid is responsible if the conflict involves potential or current undergraduate students. Whenever the conflict involves employees over which more than one human resource office is responsible, such as in the case of a faculty member seeking to hire an immediate family member to work as a civil service employee or a student in his or her lab, the responsible offices should collaborate in reviewing and approving the proposed conflict-management plan to the extent deemed necessary. Each human resource office is expected to exercise its best judgment in assessing whether collaboration with other offices is necessary when reviewing a proposed conflict-management plan.

Upon full execution of a conflict-management plan, the appropriate campus HR office(s) will advise the unit of specific instructions regarding distribution and retention of the conflict management plan. Related forms and templates for conflict-management situations are available.

Further Review

A decision by the Office of Academic Human Resources, the Staff Human Resources Office, or the Office of Student Financial Aid that is not acceptable to the individuals concerned may be appealed. Appeals must be directed to the Associate Provost for Human Resources or the Director of Student Financial Aid for undergraduate student employees. The resulting decision will be final.

Related Policies

Policy IX-A-23 in the Campus Administrative Manual, “Conflicts of Interest in Supervisory Relationships,” prohibits an employee from initiating or participating in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit or penalty to someone with whom that individual has or has had a sexual relationship.

Exceptions

None

Contact

Questions regarding conflicts should be referred to the Labor and Employee Relations section in the Office of Academic Human Resources, (217) 333-0033 (for academic and graduate employees), the Employment Services section in the Staff Human Resources Office, (217) 333-2137 (for civil service employees), or the Office of Student Financial Aid, Student Employment, (217) 333-0600 (for undergraduate student employees).