UCF Compliance & Ethics Newsletter
University Policies on Amorous Relationships and Employment of Relatives
Highlighted below are two university policies addressing personal relationships in the workplace:
UCF 2-004 Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence is a new university policy covering many types and forms of conduct, but for the purposes of this article, we’d like to focus on Section XII Inappropriate Amorous Relationships. The policy defines “amorous relationships” as intimate, sexual, and/or any other type of amorous encounter or relationship, whether casual or serious, short-term or long-term. While consensual amorous relationships may seem harmless, they can create a conflict in the workplace by adversely affecting decisions, distorting judgment, and undermining workplace morale for all employees. This is particularly true when the relationship is one of unequal power (i.e., when one of the individuals in the relationship has a professional responsibility toward the other, such as in the context of instruction, advisement, or supervision). For this reason, employees in a supervisory position are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with anyone whom they supervise. Romantic partners, including spouses, will be separated for purposes of evaluation and direct supervision. Similarly, employees are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with any undergraduate student. With respect to graduate students, employees are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with a graduate student under that individual’s authority. All employees are encouraged to read the full policy available in the policy library at http://policies.ucf.edu/.
UCF 3-008.2 Employment of Relatives is a long-standing university policy that also addresses relationships in the workplace. The policy specifically prohibits the appointment of relatives (includes persons who intend to marry or with whom the employee intends to form a domestic partnership or other intimate relationship) to any position in which a direct or indirect supervisory relationship would exist. Because the employment of any relative creates a potential or real conflict of interest, relatives are not permitted to be employed by, transferred to, or promoted within a single unit, department, or college in which a direct or indirect supervisory relationship or conflict of interest exists, or creates a situation that places relatives in a potential conflict between the interests of the university and the interests of the relatives. UCF also does not permit the appointment, transfer, or promotion of relatives within the same chain of command. Prior to hiring, promoting, or transferring any relative within the same unit, department, or college, the prospective supervisor and department head must submit a completed Employment of Relatives Form for approval to demonstrate that there is no conflict of interest or violation of the policy. For more information, please read the complete policy available at http://policies.ucf.edu/.