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As a necessary condition for creating a climate in which Brigham Young University–Hawaii ("BYU–Hawaii" or "university") can carry out its mission, the university operates under a policy of equal opportunity in employment. Recruitment, hiring, promotion, development, and working conditions are managed on the basis of qualifications and performance without regard to sex, race, national origin, age, or disability. Relationships among university employees that create the possibility or give the appearance that any considerations other than qualifications and performance influence an employee’s career experience must be carefully monitored and managed. The purpose of this anti-nepotism policy is to establish parameters within which qualified people who have family connections with other university employees (given the size and composition of the Laie community) may be given the opportunity to work for the university and contribute to its success.


It is the policy of the university to welcome members of the same family to its workforce so long as the employment relationship is established solely on the basis of qualifications and competence and a Near Relative is not in a position to affect hiring, promotion, compensation, benefits, job duties, work schedules, or discipline decisions of another Near Relative. The university eschews Nepotism and will take disciplinary action against any employee who abuses this policy. Where unique circumstances apply, the President’s Council may authorize exceptions to this policy.


3.1 Definitions

3.1.1 Near Relative

Spouse or former spouse, child, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, parent, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin.

3.1.2 Nepotism

Favoritism applied, without regard to merit, through authority or influence by someone in a position of power, toward Near Relatives or others for whom the employee is legally responsible. Favoritism is shown by giving preferential treatment in any employment action to a Near Relatives.

3.2 Scope of control

No employee (faculty, staff, and student; full-time, part-time, or temporary) of BYU–Hawaii may be employed in a position within the administrative scope of control of a Near Relative. Scope of control encompasses decisions related to hiring, promotion, compensation, benefits, job duties, work schedules, supervision, work performance, discipline, use of facilities or equipment, etc.

3.3 Hiring

The university’s human resources department will observe the following cautions to assure that the recruitment and selection of qualified individuals is compliant with this Anti-Nepotism policy:

3.3.1 Applicants

Application forms require the disclosure of any Near Relatives, of the applicant, who are currently employed by BYU–Hawaii. If, subsequent to being hired, employees are found to have failed to disclose this information in their application, they will be subject to disciplinary action.

3.3.2 Selection committees

Employees asked to participate in a selection committee or in some other applicant evaluation process where the pool of applicants includes a Near Relative, must rescue themselves from providing input on any of the applicants in the recruitment pool. Failure to do so will subject the employees to disciplinary action.

3.3.3 Hiring officials

Except as authorized in exceptional circumstances (see Section 3.5.2), a university employee with the power to make a hiring decision may not offer university employment to a Near Relative. If this requirement is not observed, both the hiring official and the hired Near Relative will be subject to disciplinary action.


If, as a result of an authorized exception to this policy, an administrative reorganization, or other university decision, Near Relatives are required to work in the same organization, departmental management must take immediate and transparent steps to prevent the occurrence or appearance of Nepotism in the work relationship of the Near Relatives. The steps could include, but would not limited to: facilitating a transfer of one of the employees to another department; separating the employees into different supervisory chains within the department; assigning the employees to separate work spaces, etc. A next higher person in a supervisory position over a Near Relative must oversee all employment decisions affecting the employees. This includes, but is not limited to conducting the annual evaluation and annual salary increase reviews.


The university recognizes that, given the size and history of the Laie labor market as well as the competitive conditions that influence prospective employee interest in positions at BYU–Hawaii, there will be occasions when exceptions to some of the provisions of this policy will be warranted.

3.5.1 Authorization process

Any exception to this policy must be approved in writing by each level in the management chain of the person requesting the exception, culminating in approval by the President’s Council. Requests must include specific information validating the extenuating circumstances that justify the exception and describe the actions proposed to minimize the possibility of Nepotism.

Approved exceptions should be kept on file with Human Resources and made available for inspection by any employee.

3.5.2 Extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances may include the following:

  • Good faith recruiting efforts to find people who are not Near Relatives to the hiring authority have not generated any or an adequate pool of qualified candidates;
  • Near Relative possesses the professional, technical, or specialized skills required for a position and in the objective judgment of third-party experts is the best or only applicant interested in the position;
  • Near Relatives, independently hired according to the provisions of this policy, have acquired knowledge and experience that, in the objective judgment of third parties, best serve the interests of the university if accountable to the same management chain; or
  • An objective and transparent evaluation of the particulars of a situation indicate that the university’s interests would be better served by an exception to some provisions of this policy than by rigid adherence to them.

3.5.3 Nepotism checks and balances

The request for an exception must spell out the steps that will be taken to acknowledge that a hiring decision or other administrative arrangement is an authorized deviation from this policy and to mitigate the potential for Nepotism to negatively affect operations.



Policy Owner: Director, Human Resources

Executive Sponsor: Administrative Vice President

Previous Version Approved: 03/27/2015
Approved by President’s Council: 03/07/2016

Modified: 2/19/2020

Full revision history maintained by the Office of Compliance & Ethics.