Human Resources

Employment of Members in the Same Family or Household

Policy Information
  • Issue Date: November 15, 1984
  • Primary Contact: Director of Human Resources
  • Responsible Member of Directorate: President and Director
  • Responsible Office: Human Resources
Policy Information

 I. This procedure sets forth guidelines covering the employment of members of the same immediate family or household at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

II. The essential and basic employment policy of the Institution is to hire the best qualified person available for a particular position. If conscientiously followed, this policy will in itself insure that ALL job applicants are considered impartially, and that the funds entrusted to the Institution are spent as wisely as possible. In no case will a job be created just to provide employment for a particular individual. 

III. In selecting new personnel and in evaluating our employees, it is necessary for certain individuals at the Institution to judge the performance of other individuals. If family and/or other personal relationships are involved, it is difficult to make objective, unbiased judgments. So that individuals at the Institution shall not be placed in the position of having to make evaluations of members of their own immediate families or household, the following policies are effective and will apply to all employees. 

A. No person employed by the Institution shall work directly for or under the general supervision of another member of his/her immediate family or household, even though one or more levels removed. 

B. No person employed by the Institution shall work in the same scientific or administrative department as another member of his/her immediate family or household without the prior approval of the Director. The request for approval shall include a written justification by the Department Chair or Administrative Manager concerned. 

C. A Department Chair or Associate Director may approve the hiring of a member of an Institution employee's immediate family or household provided the employees are not in the same department or administrative section, and provided that a written statement justifying the selection of the individual concerned is placed in the personnel records.  A copy of this justification shall go to the Director. 

D. In no case shall a member of the institution's staff be able to review the personnel file of an immediate family or household member. 

IV. For the purpose of this procedure: 
A. Immediate family includes husband and wife; son and daughter (including stepchildren), grandchild, son-in-law and daughter-in-law; parent (including stepparent), grandparent, father-in-law, and mother-in-law; and bother and sister (including stepbrother and stepsister), brother-in-law and sister-in-law. 

B. Household includes individuals regularly sharing the staff member's residence. 

Should you require assistance in the interpretation  of this procedure, please contact your Human Resources Representative.

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