Policy Number: 11-012

Employment of Relatives

Category: Human Resources

Responsible Executive: Vice President for Human Resources

Responsible Office: Human Resources

1.    Policy Statement

This policy establishes the guidelines and reporting requirements for employment of relatives. 

2.    Applicability

This policy applies to all current and future employees and courtesy faculty. 

3.    Definitions

Related Person – A “Related Person” mean an individual who is related to the Supervisory Employee, the Supervisory Employee’s spouse, or the Supervisory Employee’s domestic partner as father, mother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, domestic partner, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in- law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, step-grandson, step-granddaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister, or a person living in the same household as the Supervisory Employee.

Supervisory Relationship – A supervisory relationship exists when a University of Florida employee or public officer has or could have direct or indirect administrative, evaluative, or decision-making authority over a Related Person or whose decisions or actions may affect the evaluation or compensation of, or other University decisions or actions concerning, a Related Person.  

4.    Policy Specifics

The University of Florida is committed to a policy of employment and advancement on qualifications and merit and does not discriminate in favor of or in opposition to the employment of relatives. UF Regulation 1.009, Employment of Relatives, specifically prohibits the appointment of relatives or persons living in the same household to any position where a direct or indirect supervisory relationship would exist between relatives or would create a perceived or actual conflict of interest.  This includes, but is not limited to appointment, compensation, assignment of work, evaluation, grants administration and sponsored research projects, and financial authority or transactions.

The University reserves the right to refuse or terminate the appointment of a relative in the same department, division, or college wherein his/her relationship to another employee has the potential for creating adverse impact on supervision, security, morale, or conflict of interest.  All potential conflicts of interest that arise when relatives work in the same unit must be guided by a written management plan signed by the individual relatives and the supervisor. The plan must be approved by the Vice President of Human Resources or her designee.  When faculty, postdoctoral associates, or graduate assistants are involved, an additional approval is required by the Provost.  The plan should consider and address where appropriate the following elements:

  • Supervision and influence – Influence in the employment situation may concern issues such as hiring, promotion, supervision, evaluation, determination of salary, or working conditions.
  • Departmental appointments – Relatives may not be appointed to positions such as associate chair, chair of the tenure and promotion committee, graduate coordinator, or undergraduate coordinator without recusing themselves from participation in evaluation of a relative.
  • Assignments – Relatives may not assign one another. Such things as work assignments, or course assignments, must be determined by someone other than a relative, in consultation with appropriate departmental or unit officers and committees, without input from the relative.
  • Evaluation – A relative may not play a role or provide input on an employee’s evaluation. This includes but is not limited to: peer evaluations of teaching; annual letters of evaluation; recommendations for merit pay raises, for which the dean or next level supervisor will have authority, acting on input from any merit pay committee; nominations for college or University prizes or distinctions, and ranking of applications for sabbatical or travel awards; awarding of departmental or unit funds for any purpose; annual staff evaluations; tenure, permanent status, and promotion assessments.
  • Grant Administration – Family members working on the same grant raises special concerns. Supervision of the work itself falls under the same requirements as for assignments and evaluations above. Oversight of the grant itself, and research compliance, may require an additional reporting line to the college and additional oversight by the Office of Research.
  • Financials – If either employee is responsible for financial reporting, purchasing, or approval of any items (including items included in a grant or contract) associated with the relative, the conflict of interest must be mitigated.

5.    Review and Adjudication

Prior to hire, the following must be submitted to Human Resources for review and approval.

  • Employment of Relatives Form with all fields completed and all required signatures.
  • Organizational chart which includes both positions and reporting lines, with the individuals to be covered by the plan clearly indicated.
  • Position description or job duties of the position currently being hired.
  • Resume or CV of relative being hired and any additional information that makes the case for why the relative is uniquely qualified for the position.
  • If a competitive recruitment was completed, resumes or applications of all interviewed candidates must be submitted.
  • If a competitive recruitment was not completed, an explanation of why a recruitment was not conducted must be submitted.
  • Description of the plan to mitigate the conflict, addressing all aspects of the conflict, name of supervisor(s), financial activity, grant oversight, etc.

6.    Policy Violations

The following department is responsible for overseeing implementation of, and assuring compliance with, this policy. 

Questions about the policy or reports of suspected violation should be directed to:

UFHR – Talent Acquisition and Onboarding
903 W. University Avenue
P.O. Box 115000
Phone: (352) 273-2841 
Email: Talent@hr.ufl.edu (to expedite a response, please include the phrase “Employment of Relatives” in the subject line of any email inquiries or reports)

Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Additional Resources

Employment of Relatives Approval Form
Employment of Relatives Petition Portal
Regulations of the University of Florida – 1.009 Employment of Relatives


History: Adopted 1-12-2023