Nepotism is defined as “Favoritism shown to relatives and friends, especially in business or political appointments.” The word is derived from the Italian word nepotismo which stems from the Latin term nepos (grandson, nephew). The word found meaning when popes in the Roman Catholic Church confirmed important positions to their sons. Because a pope was supposed to be chaste, the son was euphemistically called a nephew. Today, nepotism is usually seen to be a negative practice due to the fact that it implies that the person getting the job, promotion, college admittance, or property is usually not otherwise qualified enough to have it. There are no uniform laws regarding nepotism, but there are many different ways to create laws of nepotism or practices as well as oppose already existing laws or practices. Some states, cities or organizations will create their own nepotism laws. Nepotism laws will differ from state to state. Entities who do adopt nepotism laws typically only prohibit the ‘appointment’ of a relative to a position of trust or emolument. Emolument is defined as any advantage, profit or gain arising from the position in office.’ Emolument could be interpreted as anybody who has the authority to fire, hire or decide issues of salary, promotion, leaves of absence and other job-related benefits for a relative. Another type of nepotism that occurs is within the educational system, when a family member is admitted on the basis of their family’s history at the school applied to. The school district itself would have to have nepotism laws in place to forbid such a thing. Nepotism is very common in business and it is mostly accepted here as well. When it is looked down upon is when family members who are not qualified for positions are hired. There are no uniform national business laws regarding nepotism and the practice may be openly embraced by some businesses. But many businesses have rules that ban nepotism which can include family members and ones spouse. These rules are often the most difficult for people who meet at work and then marry. Nepotism is a problematic legal issue to deal with because of its varying complexities. While most states have comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, nepotism may not be covered as a form of discrimination. To combat nepotism, one would have to consult an attorney for the proper laws to be put in place beforehand. The reason attorneys are used is because of the complexity of nepotism and its relation to discrimination and the law. For example, there are states who have laws and legal rights that argue that nepotism against married couples is a form of illegal discrimination. If an employer has a nepotism law in place and the state considers the employers law to be discriminatory on the basis of marital status, that is, if they prevent qualified married couples from working together, they could be violating the discrimination law. Those who become fired for such reasons often seek legal consultation. Those against nepotism say that if one has the qualifications to do a job, no matter how many relatives work in a particular company, that person should receive the job. To not receive such a job or to be fired later after becoming related to another employee, is causing many businesses lots of legal headaches. Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit:
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