Father helping his son on a work project


Giving preferential treatment to a relative in the workplace. 


Giving preferential treatment to a relative in the workplace may be considered nepotism.  Public Officers Law § 73 prohibits State employees from:

  • participating in any decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge a relative.
  • awarding contracts to a relative or investing public funds in any security in which a relative has a financial interest.  


Who is covered under the nepotism restrictions?

  • Statewide elected officials
  • Legislative members and employees
  • Officers and employees of New York State agencies (including departments, boards, bureaus, divisions, commissions, and councils) (*other than unpaid and per diem officers of those entities) and,
  • Members, directors, and employees of NYS public authorities and public benefit corporations (*other than unpaid and per diem members and directors of such entities)
  • Unpaid and per diem officers are excluded from Public Officers Law § 73; however, they are still bound by the conflict of interest rules found in Public Officers Law § 74. 


Things to consider

Did you know that any person living in your household is considered a relative under the nepotism restriction? Public Officers Law § 73(1)(m) defines a relative as:

Any person living in the same household as the covered individual or any person who is a direct descendant of that covered individual's grandparents or the spouse of such descendant.


Recommended Best Practice 

Recuse yourself from any personnel decisions that involve a family member or a close personal friend.