NORTHFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION FILE CODE: 4112.8/4212.8
Northfield, New Jersey X Monitored
Policy X Other Reasons
“Nepotism” for the purpose of this policy shall be defined as the showing of favoritism to an employee or candidate for employment based on the existence of a relationship as a relative or immediate family member of a board member or Superintendent of Schools.
For the purpose of this policy, “relative” shall be defined as an individual’s spouse, civil union partner, domestic partner, or the parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister, of the individual or of the individual’s spouse, civil union partner or domestic partner, whether the relative is related to the individual or the individual’s spouse, civil union partner or domestic partner, by blood, marriage or adoption.
“Immediate family” shall be defined as board member or school administrator, their spouse, civil union partner, domestic partner, child, parent or sibling residing in the same household, whether related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Employment/Promotion of Relative
The Northfield Board of Education, in order to avoid both the reality and the appearance of conflict of interest in employment, will not appoint a relative of a board member or of the Superintendent of Schools to any employment position in this district. The Superintendent of Schools shall not recommend to the board any relative of a board member or of the Superintendent of Schools, unless the person is subject to the exception below. Nor shall any person be considered for employment in any position in which he/she would come under the direct or indirect supervision of any relative.
Further, no school district administrator shall supervise, or exercise authority on personnel actions regarding a relative of the administrator. Where it is not feasible to eliminate such a direct or indirect supervisory relationship, appropriate screens and/or alternate supervision/reporting mechanisms shall be put in place.
Persons who are employees of the board on the date that this policy becomes effective or the date a relative becomes a board member or Superintendent of Schools shall not be prohibited from continuing to be employed in the district. This includes employees who must be renewed annually by the board. The Superintendent of Schools may recommend those employees for reemployment, transfer, promotion or removal.
A relative of a school board member or Superintendent of Schools may be employed by the district provided that the district has obtained the approval from the Executive County Superintendent of schools. Such approval shall be granted only upon demonstration by the school district that it conducted a thorough search for candidates and that the proposed candidate is the only qualified and available person for the position.
Board Member/Superintendent of Schools Participation in Negotiations
When a board member or school administrator’s relative is a member of the bargaining unit, or receives the
benefit of the contract, that board member or school administrator shall not discuss the proposed collective bargaining agreement with that unit nor participate in any way in negotiations. This includes, but is not limited to, being a member of the negotiating team. Nor shall that board member or school administrator be present with the board in closed session when negotiation strategies are being discussed. However, a school administrator may provide technical information that is necessary to the collective bargaining process when no one else can provide that information.
When a member of a board member’s or school administrator’s immediate family is a member of the same statewide union with which the board is negotiating, that board member or school administrator shall not participate in any way in negotiations. This includes, but is not limited to: being a member of the negotiating team, prior to the board’s attaining a tentative memorandum of agreement with the bargaining unit, including salary guides and/or the total package of money to be offered.
Once such tentative memorandum of agreement is established, including salary guides and/or the total package of money to be offered, the board member or school administrator may fully participate in the process, including board member voting, absent other conflicts. Prior to that time, the board member or school administrator shall not be present with the board in closed session when negotiation strategies are being discussed. However, a school administrator may provide technical information that is necessary to the collective bargaining process when no one else in the district can provide that information.
A school official who has such relationship with any employee of the district as of the effective date of this policy shall declare such relationship immediately.
Per diem substitutes and student employees are excluded from this nepotism policy.
NJSBA Review/Update: January 2010; December 2010
Adopted: October 24, 2011
Nepotism, Hiring Relatives, Relatives
Legal References: N.J.S.A. 18A:11-1 General mandatory powers and duties
N.J.S.A. 18A:12-2 Inconsistent interests or office prohibited
N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq. School Ethics Act
N.J.S.A. 18A:16-1 Officers and employees in general
N.J.S.A. 18A:27-4.1 Appointment, transfer, removal or renewal of officers and employees; exceptions
N.J.S.A. 52:13D-13 State conflict of interest law
N.J.A.C. 6A:4-1.1 et seq. Appealable decisions
N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-1.2 et seq. Fiscal accountability; definitions
N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-6.2 et seq. Fiscal accountability; nepotism
N.J.A.C. 6A:28-1.1 et seq. School Ethics Commission
In the Matter of the Election of Dorothy Bayless to the Board of Education of the Lawrence Township School District, 1974 S.L.D. 603, reversing 1974 S.L.D. 595
Shirley Smiecinski v. Board of Education of the Township of Hanover, Morris County, 1975 S.L.D. 478
Scola v. Ringwood Bd. of Ed., 1978 S.L.D. 413
Salerno v. Old Bridge Board of Ed., 1984 S.L.D. (April 28)
Larsen v. Woodbridge Board of Ed., 1985 S.L.D. (March 18)
Scannella v. Scudillo, School Ethics Decision, Complaint No. C-14-93, (February 3, 1994)
In the Matter of Frank Pannucci, 2000 S.L.D. March 1, State Board Rev’g Commissioner 97 NJAR 2d (EDU) 339
School Ethics Commission, Advisory Opinion, A01-93
School Ethics Commission, Advisory Opinion, A10-93
School Ethics Commission, Advisory Opinion, A021-93
School Ethics Commission, Advisory Opinion, A07-94
School Ethics Commission, Advisory Opinion, A33-95
School Ethics Commission, Advisory Opinion, A14-00
N.J. Department of Education 05-13-09 Broadcast # 1 “Nepotism Policy Clarification”
Cross References: *4111 Recruitment, selection and hiring
*4119.21 Conflict of interest
*9270 Conflict of interest
*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.