What Is Nepotism?

There are many ways you can be harassed or discriminated against in the workplace. Some of these can be resolved within your company by communication and cooperation, but other forms of discrimination can violate workplace fairness laws in California and may necessitate professional help. You may have heard of the word “nepotism” without fully understanding how it can affect you at work.

According to Entrepreneur, nepotism is described as a type of favoritism that may discriminate or limit an employee’s position in a company. Nepotism involves someone being hired or promoted based on personal relationships instead of a person’s qualifications and experience. For example, you may have been passed over for a promotion you worked hard for and were promised after your employer’s son graduated from college and he decided to hire him instead. Or, you suddenly found yourself without a job, when your boss started dating your co-worker and gave her your duties.

While nepotism is not illegal in the private sector, the unfair situations that can arise when an employer’s family members or romantic interests are given preference over others may qualify as types of discrimination. You may even have reason to believe you were unfairly retaliated against or terminated if you spoke up about behavior that looked like nepotism, and you were fired in response. This topic and others involving workplace discrimination can be especially complicated. Therefore, the content in this blog post is meant for informational purposes and should not replace the advice of a lawyer.