Are their ethical laws in the workplace? How ethical is it, for a "boss" to be on a "interview" panel for a relative?

Asked over 1 year ago - Carson, CA

A fellow worker had same day interview, he went before me. His Brother was on the interview forum. Is that something illegal, how can a relative be unbiased? If that brother gets the job, and I didn't, would their be anything I could do to complain legally? I have interviewed another time, and didn't get that position either. I have over 10 years in the field.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Hillary Johns

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Nepotism in and of itself isn't illegal. Concur with counsel.

    Ms. Johns can be reached at either her Woodland Hills or San Diego offices at (866) 402-4038. Her email address... more
  2. Jack Richard Lebowitz


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No ethics in business or the workplace like that, unless unlawful discrimination of a protected class (sex, race, age) but those are darned hard to PROVE in a firing or hiring situation.

    As far as nepotism or cronyism as being a reason for hiring, that's unfortunately both typical if not ubiquitous right now, it's all about "networking" and who you know, not what you know, in most workplaces.

    This answer is provided under the “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states... more
  3. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . The only "ethics" in the business world are those that the businesses themselves impose on themselves. Many companies have Codes of Conduct, or Business Ethics Guidelines by which they want their employees to govern themselves. However, other than internal ethical restraints, there is not a general "Rules of Ethics" applicable to business in general other than the laws on the books governing what is legal and unlawful, like certain government contracting rules or conflict of interest laws.

    Of course, depending on the business there might be ethics codes. For instance, attorneys have an ethics code with which they must comply. There are other similar businesses, usually confined to what are traditionally called professions.

    In your situation, an employer is allowed to make employment decisions while embroiled in a conflict of interest. An employer may have a policy to only hire blood relatives and not violate the law. Nepotism and favoritism are fully legal bases as long as the favoritism is not based on membership in a protected class of people.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more

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