West Valley Firefighters

Quarterly Newsletter

1st Quarter of 2012


Policy 2131 Anti-Nepotism

Policy 2131 Anti-Nepotism



YAKIMA, WA  98908

 POLICY #                         2131


 EFFECTIVE DATE:           10/20/2010

REVISED DATE:               06/10/2014

 POLICY TITLE:                Anti-Nepotism


1.0     PURPOSE

 It is the goal of Yakima County Fire District 12 to make hiring decisions and advancements on the basis of merit.  Thus, it is inappropriate for individuals to be hired or promoted just because of a family relationship with another District employee. 

 Yakima County Fire District 12 understands that employment of relatives in an organization can cause a variety of problems, including charges of favoritism, conflicts of interest, scheduling conflicts and loss of employee morale.

 This policy is to ensure effective supervision, internal discipline, security, safety and positive morale in the workplace and to avoid the potential for problems identified above.


 Nepotism- favoritism or bias shown by those acting in the capacity of a supervisor or by persons with oversight authority to persons who have a close family relationship with an employee or an elected commissioner of the District.

 Relative- wife, husband, domestic partner, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, stepparent, stepchild, grandparent and grandchildren


 This policy applies to all full-time employees and applicants for full-time employment.

 4.0     Policy

 Relatives will be considered for employment based on merit, but the District generally will not hire a Relative if:

 a: One Relative would have the authority or be in a position to supervise, hire, remove or discipline the other; or

b: One Relative would be responsible for auditing or evaluating the work of the other; enter payroll data, have access to records, or

c:  One Relative is a current Fire Commissioner, or

d: Both Relatives would receive supervision from the same immediate supervisor; or

e.  Any other circumstances exist which would place the Relatives in a situation of actual or reasonably foreseeable conflict between the District’s interest and their own.

 This policy will also be considered when assigning, transferring, or promoting an employee.

 This policy shall apply without regard to gender and without regard to the sexual orientation of the participants in a relationship of the kind described herein.


If two employees become Relatives during employment, and if, in the District’s judgment the potential problems noted above exist or reasonably could exist, the District may transfer, demote or terminate one of the employees as it deems necessary.  The employee to be transferred, demoted or terminated shall be determined by the individuals involved.  If the individuals involved fail or refuse to choose within thirty (30) days after notification, the District reserves the right to transfer, demote or terminate either employee.

 A full time employee who is a Relative of a Commissioner, other than a spouse, is ineligible to remain employed at the District.  No volunteer/part paid on call employee will be allowed to be an officer or promote up to that position while a Relative is serving as a commissioner for the District.  Relatives of a Commissioner will be hired or retained in part-time/on call firefighter positions only during the commissioner’s term.  If an employee’s spouse is a Commissioner, then the employee will be terminated only if the District expressly finds that any of the circumstances present in Section 4.0 above are present.

 The Fire District’s action is not intended to be punitive and or disciplinary in nature.


 While the district encourages amicable relationships between members of management (officer, director, manager, or supervisor) and their subordinates, it is recognized that involvement in a romantic relationship may compromise or create a perception that compromises a member of management’s ability to perform his/her job.  Any involvement of a romantic nature between an officer, director, manager, or supervisor of the organization and anyone he/she supervises, either directly or indirectly, is prohibited.  If such a relationship develops, it is the responsibility of the management individual involved in the relationship to inform the Chief or Deputy Chief of the relationship immediately.  Violation of this policy will lead to corrective action up to and including termination of the management individual involved in the relationship. 


 Full Time Employees: Members employed full time with the District are responsible for identifying to the Fire Chief any potential violation of this policy based upon applicants to open positions and are required to disclose changes in their personal situations which may violate this policy.

 Part Time Employees: Members employed by the District are responsible for identify to the Fire Chief any potential violations of this policy based on election of a Fire Commissioner to the governing board.

 Human Resources Officer: Shall evaluate every applicant for full-time employment for potential violations of this policy and investigate reports of nepotism and take appropriate action.

 Fire Chief: Responsible for negotiating agreement between members involved should a violation of this policy occur to determine which employee will be separated.  If a mutual agreement is unattainable will recommend to the Board of Commissioners the best outcome that serves the best interest of the District.

 Board of Commissioners: Responsible for making the final determination as to whether or not a situation of conflict exists and how best to resolve it.