What are my rights regarding alleged epotism?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my rights regarding alleged epotism?

I have a special situation that is actually the opposite of most of the issues with nepotism. I’m hoping someone can help me out here. I was hired part-time for a non-profit organization almost 3 years ago. My younger sister was then hired part-time for the same company about a year later. Mind you, the company was well aware of her relation to me, we have never concealed the fact that we are sisters. Approximately 4 months after she was hired, I was promoted to a full-time position and then a year ago was promoted to an official leadership management position. My sister is still working in the same department as me as a part-time staff member, nothing has changed in her position and my supervisors, including the branch exec know she is my sister and see her value in the company. Any direct concerns with her are handled by my direct supervisor and it has never been a problem. I’ve never shown favoritism toward her and the staff have never complained or shown resentment to either of us. Recently, our company’s HR person found out that she is my sister and is now raising questions regarding nepotism. I’m up for another promotion this fall and will not be staying with the company if they ask me to choose between my job and my sister’s. She has worked her butt off to be there as much as I have and after almost 2 years of her working with me, this has never been a problem before. Do I have any say in this when they approach me formally or should I start searching for another job now?

Asked on July 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you and/or your sister do not have written employment contracts for defined periods of time, like one-year contracts--which are still in effect and which would prevent action (e.g. termination) from being taken against you, you are employees at will and your employer may terminate one or both of you, or do anything less than or short of termination (suspension, demotion, transfer, etc.) at any time, for any reason, even reasons that are unfair or factually incorrect. So without a contract to give you enforceable rights, you don't have any legal say in what happens: the employer can do anything it wants. It may be prudent, if you are concerned about what they may do, to being searching for other employment.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption