Related coworkers in supervisory roles

Hello.

I work for a large HMO, where written policy clearly states no employee shall hold a supervisory position over a relative. However, that situation exists in my office and the higher ups continuely look the other way even though mulitple complaints have come in concerning it. There is favoritism and unethical behavior between the two employees and my question is, since the situation is being ignored, can I try to remedy it by taking legal action against the company?

Thank you.

1 answer  |  asked Sep 17, 2004 5:30 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
Nepotism isn't unlawful

There are two reasons why you won't be able to get anywhere trying to take legal action against your employer over this issue. First, company policy is not law, and the company is free to (and often does)ignore its own written policies. Second, you probably do not have standing to challenge the company on this issue unless your rights and interests have been adversely affected in some measurable way by the company's deviation from its policy. In other words, the court would want to know why it's any of your business how the company treats some other employee.
Having siad that, you should also know that if you are a rank and file employee (non-management), you and your coworkers are protected by the National Labor Relations Act in protesting this situation, provided you are engaging in concerted activity. This means activity by two or more employees or by one speaking for himself and others regarding terms and conditions of employment. It is an unfair labor practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee who engages in protected concerted activity. This doesn't solve your problem, but gives you some protection as you try to join with coworkers in raising your concerns.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Sep 20, 2004 4:11 PM [EST]

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