What can be done about nepotism in the workplace?

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What can be done about nepotism in the workplace?

My manager has a son that works directly under her along with several other employees. She allows him to break several rules, rules others have been scolded for breaking, with no consequences. There is plenty bias towards him, giving him unfair treatment in the workplace. Any laws on this? Anything we can do?

Asked on September 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that not all employees must be treated the same or even fairly. The only time preferential treatment in the workplace is illegal is if it constitutes actionable retaliation or discrimination. So, for example, if an employee is treated differently due to their inclusion in what is known as a "protected class"  ie. based on their race, religion, age, gender, dsabilitiy, then that would be illegal. However, such does not apear to be the case here. The fact is that in "at will" employment, an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it deems fit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, there are no laws against nepotism whatsoever, and a manager or supervisor is allowed to favor her children, friends, cousins, friends' children, etc. at work. Nepotism is unfair and inefficient, but has a long tradition and is fully legal--or do you think that Bill Ford, Jr. is the Chairman of Ford Motor Company based purely on talent?


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