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      RS 42:1119     

  

§1119. Nepotism

            A. No member of the immediate family of an agency head shall be employed in his agency.

            B.(1) No member of the immediate family of a member of a governing authority or the chief executive of a governmental entity shall be employed by the governmental entity.

            (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection:

            (a)(i) Any local school board may employ any member of the immediate family of any board member or of the superintendent as a classroom teacher provided that such family member is certified to teach or is temporarily authorized to teach while pursuing certification. Any local school board in a parish having a population of fewer than sixty thousand according to the latest federal decennial census may employ any member of the immediate family of any board member or of the superintendent as a special education related services professional provided that such family member is licensed in an appropriate field for special education related services and such family member is the only applicant who meets the qualifications for the position set by the school board who has applied for the position after it has been advertised for at least thirty days in the official journal of the school board. A special education related services professional shall include the following when employed to provide special education services: a social worker, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist/pathologist, teacher of hearing impaired students, teacher of visually impaired students, or nurse. Any school board member or superintendent whose immediate family member is employed by the school board shall recuse himself from any decision involving the promotion or assignment of teaching or service location of such employee.

            (ii) Any local school board with a student enrollment population of four thousand nine hundred fifty or less may employ any member of the immediate family of any board member as a school electrician provided that such family member has at least twenty years of experience as an electrician. Any school board member whose immediate family member is employed by the school board shall recuse himself from any decision involving the promotion or assignment of such electrician.

            (iii) In addition, within thirty days after the beginning of each school year, any school board member or superintendent whose immediate family member is employed by the school board shall file a disclosure statement with the Board of Ethics stating the facts of such employment. Any person who fails to timely file a disclosure statement under this Item may be assessed a late fee of fifty dollars per day, not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars, subject to the provisions of R.S. 42:1157.

            (iv) Any local school board in a parish with a population of twenty-five thousand five hundred persons or less according to the most recent federal decennial census may employ any member of the immediate family of any board member or of the superintendent as a school guidance counselor provided that such family member is certified as a guidance counselor and that such family member is the only applicant who meets the qualifications for the position set by the school board who has applied for the position after it has been advertised for at least thirty days in the official journal of the parish and in all newspapers of general circulation in the parish. Any school board member or superintendent whose immediate family member is employed by the school board shall recuse himself from any decision involving the promotion or assignment of such employee.

            (v) An immediate family member of a member of a local school board or of a superintendent who is employed pursuant to Item (i) of this Subparagraph may be promoted to an administrative position by such school board provided that such family member has the appropriate qualifications and certifications for such position. A school board member whose immediate family member is to be promoted to an administrative position pursuant to this Item shall recuse himself from any action involving the promotion or assignment of job location of such employee, and a superintendent whose immediate family member is to be promoted to an administrative position shall disqualify himself from any action involving the promotion or assignment of job location of such employee. For purposes of this Item, the term "certifications" shall not include any temporary or provisional certification or certifications.

            (b)(i) Any hospital service district or hospital public trust authority located in such a district may enter into an initial recruiting contract with or employ as a health care provider, a licensed physician, a registered nurse, or an allied health professional who is a member of the immediate family of any district board, authority, or parish governing authority member or of the chief executive of the district or authority provided that such family member is the only qualified applicant who has applied for the position after it has been advertised for at least thirty days in the official journal of the parish and in all newspapers of general circulation in the parish where the hospital is located. The chief executive and any member of a board of a hospital service district or hospital public trust authority which enters into an initial recruiting contract with or employs such physician, registered nurse, or allied health professional shall recuse himself from any decision involving the promotion, discipline, discharge, or assignment of any such employee who is a member of his immediate family.

            (ii) Any hospital service district in a parish with a population of between four hundred thousand and four hundred forty thousand persons as of the most recent federal decennial census or hospital public trust authority located in such a district may enter into an initial recruiting contract with or employ as a health care provider, a licensed physician, a registered nurse, or an allied health professional who is a member of the immediate family of any district board, authority, or parish governing authority member or of the chief executive of the district or authority provided that such family member is a qualified applicant who has applied for the position after it has been advertised for at least thirty days in the official journal of the parish and in all newspapers of general circulation in the parish where the hospital is located. The chief executive and any member of a board of a hospital service district or hospital public trust authority which enters into an initial recruiting contract with or employs such physician, registered nurse, or allied health professional shall recuse himself from any decision involving the promotion, discipline, discharge, or assignment of any such employee who is a member of his immediate family.

            (iii) In addition, no later than January thirtieth of each year, any chief executive and any member of a board of a hospital service district or hospital public trust authority whose immediate family member enters into an initial recruiting contract with or is employed by the hospital service district or hospital public trust authority pursuant to this Subparagraph shall file a disclosure statement with the Board of Ethics stating the facts of such employment. Any person who fails to timely file a disclosure statement under this Item may be assessed a late fee of fifty dollars per day, not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars, subject to the provisions of R.S. 42:1157.

            C.(1) Any person serving in public employment on the effective date of this Section, whose employment is in violation of this Section, may continue in such employment and the provisions of this Section shall not be construed to hinder, alter, or in any way affect normal promotional advancements in public employment for such employee.

            (2) The provisions of this Section shall not prohibit the continued employment of any public employee nor shall it be construed to hinder, alter, or in any way affect normal promotional advancements for such public employee where a member of public employees' immediate family becomes the agency head of such public employee's agency, provided that such public employee has been employed in the agency for a period of at least one year prior to the member of the public employee's immediate family becoming the agency head.

            (3) The provisions of the Section shall not apply to pilots appointed by the governor pursuant to R.S. 34:943, 992, 1044, and 1072.

            (4) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the hiring of immediate family members of members of a governing authority of a municipality with less than two thousand population and which owns an electrical or gas distribution system. Any member of the governing authority which employs an immediate family member shall recuse himself from any decision involving the promotion, discipline, discharge, or assignment of work of his immediate family member. However, the provisions of this Paragraph shall only apply when, after proper advertisement, there is no other resident of the municipality who is qualified and has applied for the position of employment.

            (5) The provisions of this Section shall not be construed to prohibit the reemployment of a retiree whose employment was allowed under the provisions of this Section on the date of his retirement. Any such reemployment shall be in compliance with all other applicable laws.

            (6) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the employment of a volunteer firefighter or to any decision regarding the employment of a volunteer firefighter by an agency head, a chief executive of a governmental entity, or a member of a governing authority. For purposes of this Paragraph, "volunteer firefighter" shall mean a member of a volunteer fire department who participates in fire and rescue functions and who receives no remuneration for his services, and "decision regarding employment" shall include any decision involving the employment, promotion, discipline, discharge, or assignment of the firefighter.

            (7) The provisions of this Section and the provisions of R.S. 24:31.5 shall not prohibit the employment of any employee provided for in R.S. 24:31.5, nor shall it be construed to hinder, alter, or in any way affect normal promotional advancements for such employee, so long as the legislator who employs the employee remains a member of the legislature, provided the employee is employed as provided for in R.S. 24:31.5 in the legislator's agency by the same legislator at least one year prior to becoming a member of the immediate family of the legislator. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 42:1112, the legislator may participate in transactions regarding such employment.

            D. A willful violation of this Section shall subject the agency head, member of the governing authority, the public employee having authority to hire and fire the employee, the immediate supervisor of the employee, whether or not such persons are immediate family members of the employee, and such employee, to disciplinary action and penalties provided by this Chapter.

            E. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the employment by a school board of an immediate family member of an athletic director of a school as a coach at such school.

            F. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the school board of a school system created after June 1, 2006, from employing an immediate family member of a school board member, provided that the immediate family member was previously employed in a similar capacity by a school board within the same parish for a period of at least one year prior to the creation of the new school system. Any school board member whose immediate family member is either being considered for employment or is employed by the school board shall recuse himself from any decision involving the hiring, promotion, or assignment of such employee. In addition, any such school board member shall be subject to the same disclosure requirements and penalties provided by Item (B)(2)(a)(iii) of this Section.

            G. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a district attorney from employing an immediate family member as an assistant district attorney provided that the immediate family member was continuously employed by the office of the district attorney for that judicial district for a period of at least nine months immediately prior to the district attorney taking the oath of office for his initial term as district attorney nor shall the provisions of this Section be construed to hinder, alter, or in any way affect normal promotional advancements for such assistant district attorney.

            Acts 1979, No. 443, §1, eff. April 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1982, No. 640, §1; Acts 1992, No. 598, §1; Acts 1995, No. 196, §1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 329, §1; Acts 1997, No. 342, §1, eff. June 20, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 1349, §2, eff. July 12, 1999; Acts 2003, No. 913, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 914, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 990, §1, eff. July 2, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 997, §1, eff. July 2, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 914, §1, eff. July 12, 2004; Acts 2006, No. 833, §1, eff. July 5, 2006; Acts 2007, No. 150, §1, eff. June 25, 2007; Acts 2007, No. 225, §1; Acts 2008, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 6, §1, eff. April 26, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 514, §1, eff. June 30, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 452, §1, eff. July 9, 2009; Acts 2011, No. 167, §1, eff. June 24, 2011; Acts 2012, No. 699, §1, eff. June 11, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 811, §15, eff. July 1, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 863, §1, eff. June 23, 2014; Acts 2015, No. 449, §1.




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