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Minnesota Relatives' Employment: What you need to know

Nepotism is favoring the hiring of a relative or friend over a qualified, but unrelated, individual. The practices of allowing or prohibiting nepotism raise issues of discrimination based on sex, race, national origin, or other protected classes. Such policies may violate both applicable federal and state antidiscrimination laws.
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Many employers maintain policies that prohibit or restrict the employment of spouses and other related individuals. The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of marital status. The law applies to all employers, regardless of size (MN Stat. Sec. 363.01et seq.).
In addition, depending on how they are written or applied, policies and practices that prohibit or restrict the employment or affect the transfer of certain employees because they are related to other employees may be discriminatory. Policies favoring the hiring of relatives may also have a disparate impact on protected classes and should be carefully monitored to avoid such discrimination.
In order to establish an effective antinepotism policy, consider the following important points:
• The rationale behind the policy
• The scope of the policy (To what degree of relationship will the policy extend?)
• The effects of the marriage of co-workers during employment
• Summer employment considerations (Will the policy be in effect for temporary summer jobs?)
• Exceptions to the policy (Under what conditions will exceptions be authorized? Who will authorize them?)
• Responsibility for the administration of the policy
• A statement that the policy will be applied in accordance with applicable law
• A method for voicing complaints about the system (to help ...

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