January 2013

VICTORY! SEIU Wins Nepotism Case in TN Court of Appeals

A Tennessee Court of Appeals agreed with SEIU Local 205 when it found that the nepotism policy at Nashville Electric Service was “arbitrary” and “capricious” when the company demoted NES employee Gary Clarke after he married another NES employee back in 2007.

The story, which was reported by USA Today, shed light on the ways that companies in the private and public sector misinterpret nepotism policies. While nepotism policies are well-intentioned and designed to prevent workplace discrimination and bias in hiring, many companies in Tennessee invoke the rules over-cautiously, even when there is not a clear conflict of interest.

“It’s commonplace for companies to prevent employees from supervising relatives, but as this case shows, the policies are often hard to manage,” said Michelle Owens, the attorney who represented Mr. Clarke and SEIU Local 205 in the matter. The recent ruling re-affirmed a decision made by the state trial court.

Read the full story from USA Today.

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