FDNY Implements New Anti-Nepotism Policy

FDNY has implemented a new anti-nepotism policy that has sparked some headlines over the past week. The policy, which states it is merely making clear what the city charter already requires, “prohibits City employees from using, or attempting to use, their position to obtain financial gain, privilege, or personal advantage for themselves or for people with whom they are associated with, including close relatives.”

According to the Daily News, the policy was issued after the city’s Department of Investigations completed two investigations into circumstances within FDNY where nepotism became an issue of concern. Neither case is available on the DOI web site. The Daily News quotes FDNY critics as blaming many of FDNY’s problems on nepotism.

The policy prohibits employees from involvement in the “recruiting, interviewing, hiring, processing, evaluating, promoting”; “investigating, disciplining, or terminating”; or “supervis[ing] or manag[ing] directly or indirectly” a “close relative”. The term close relative is defined as:

  • an employee’s parent, spouse, domestic partner, child, sibling, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, grandparent, any person related to an employee’s spouse or domestic partner, and any person residing in an employee’s household.

The policy goes on to require new hires and those with a “status change” (ie. a promotion) to complete a Required Family Disclosure Form, that identifies all close relatives on FDNY. Here is a copy of the policy.

Coincidentally, a Canadian fire department is in the news with its own nepotism concerns. SaultOnline reported on a nepotism problem in the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department after the fire chief’s son was hired. More on that story.

Here is the Sault Ste. Marie anti-nepotism policy:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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