VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURESSUBJECT: RELATIONSHIPS IN THE WORKPLACEEFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015 Vanderbilt University strives to be a family-friendly workplace and is committed to maintaining an environment in which members of the University community can work together to further education, research, patient care and community service.
This policy provides guidelines for visitors in the workplace, family members working at Vanderbilt and relationships at work Children, family members, associates or friends are welcome for occasional, brief visits in the workplace.
However, employment of family members in situations where one family member has direct influence over the other's conditions of employment (i.e., salary, hours worked, shifts, etc.) is inappropriate.
Violations of this policy by an employee is grounds for the Performance Management process, up to and including discharge.
Consensual sexual relationships between a student and an employee who is not in a position to exercise direct power or authority over that student may also be inappropriate.
If a relationship is deemed to be inappropriate under these guidelines, the appropriate department head or next level of administrator, after consultation with the EAD and a Human Resources Consultant will take appropriate action.
Actions taken may include, but are not limited to, an agreed upon transfer, a change in shift, a change in reporting structure, the Performance Management process or discharge.
Other workers may claim that the subordinate employee received preferential treatment.
For example, in 2007, a high-ranking executive at a major financial institution was forced to step down when it was discovered that he gave his girlfriend, another company employee, a pay raise.
Any employee who engages in such a relationship must accept responsibility for assuring that it does not result in a conflict of interest or raise other issues of professionalism.
In cases of doubt, advice and counsel should be sought from the EAD or a Human Resources Consultant.
Supervisors may approve non-routine visits that do not interfere with an employee's ability to perform his/her work functions or the productivity of a work unit.
As a large employer, Vanderbilt does have members from the same family who work at the University.
Employees who engage in personal relationships (including romantic and sexual relationships) should be aware of their professional responsibilities and will be responsible for assuring that the relationship does not raise concerns about favoritism, bias, ethics and conflict of interest.