Nepotism in Federal Government Employment


Nepotism often occurs in the private sector, particularly when it comes to family-run and small businesses. Nepotism is generally considered as any favorable treatment toward or of relatives that compromises integrity, fairness, and neutrality. However, in federal government employment, the practice is prohibited for several reasons. Under the law, the federal government is obligated to maintain open, competitive, and merit-based personnel practices. Nepotism is a practice that contradicts this law in that it unfairly shuts out applicants who are highly qualified and also creates hurdles for applicants that should not exist. In other words, nepotism is considered a kind of corruption that is unethical but in some instances in might also be considered illegal and a crime.

Although nepotism frequently happens in entry-level government positions, it can also occur with higher-level positions. Moreover, nepotism is not necessarily limited to the hiring process as it can also come up in inspections, contracts, and other interactions with third parties.

The United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is a government agency that may get involved in the event that an agency or employer is accused of nepotism. The MSPB also provides guidance on how to navigate a nepotism situation and encourages employees to err on the side of transparency and honesty. If there is any potential for a conflict to arise, it is always better to report the situation. Depending on the facts and circumstances of a nepotism case, the United States Office of Special Counsel and the Department of Justice might also get involved.

If you or someone you know has been adversely affected by nepotism, it is imperative that you seek the advice and consult of an experienced Federal Employment Law Attorney as soon as possible. Call the Vaughn Law Firm today at (877) 615-9495 and schedule your free consultation.