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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Hello I am a currently a reserve peace officer in California.

Resolved Question:

Hello I am a currently a reserve peace officer in California. My issue began approximately 9 months ago when my agency had a full time opening. I applied for the position as well as another reserve, who's mother is also the sole PD secretary. I failed out of the first round of interviews while the other reserve passed.
After finding out my score I spoke with the sgt from my department who sat on the interview panels for both myself and the other reserve. We went over what I did right and what I did wrong. After this I asked him how the other reserve did and he informed me that the other reserves mother told the sgt. that she had to medicate her son ( the other reserve) the night before the interview because he was so nervous. The sgt did not verbally say the other reserve failed but from his body and head motions I believed the other reserve had failed as well.
Lo and behold the other reserve was placed on the pass list and the sgt would no longer speak to me about this issue. The other reserve placed 3rd on the high list out of 5 candidates in Jan 2011. The first two candidates either failed or were hired on at other departments then my agency froze the position.
During this time the other reserve continued to work on his training manual with an FTO (field training officer) he had work with the department for three years as of June 2011. the administration passed him on his FTO manual in the beginning of July 2011. Now the issue here according to POST (Police Officers Standards and Training) an officer has 3 years from graduating the academy to getting hired and passing an FTO period. Otherwise the officer will have to attend another POST class. The FTO officer has repeatedly told others he did not clear the other reserve from FTO and that sgts was responsible for passing the other reserve. (This is an issue I am taking up with POST currently however I am sharing this to show that i believe there is possible nepotism in play here because the sgts are close with the other reserves mother.)

To sum up several smaller issues I will just say that this other reserve has caused several concerning issues since being off FTO. These issues have been brought to the sgts attention. However as of 9-9 2011 the other reserve was hired on full time (because he was 3rd on the list from the Jan 2011 hiring process. Today 9-11-2011 I spoke with the Chief of the department and expressed my concerns over this. The Chief was unaware of the issues caused by the other reserve. He is currently looking into this.

It is my firm belief as well as other officers in the department that nepotism at play here. my questions are as follows;
From your legal stand point with the information provided do you think there is a decent chance of nepotism? and if so what are my recourse? Also is there a time frame for keeping a hire list (is the list from Jan-2011 still valid in Sep-2011?)

Thank you for your time to read my mini novel :)

Submitted: 6 years ago via EmployeeIssues.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
Hello Tim:

California law expressly prohibits discrimination in employment based upon (among other things) "ancestry." However, California courts, thus far, have not extended the definition of the term "ancestry" discrimination to include "nepotism."

Until nepotism is deemed unlawful discrimination, such conduct, while perhaps morally despicable, remains legal, unless the local civil service hiring rules expressly prohibit nepotism in hiring. See, .e.g, City of San Francisco Civil Service Rules 213.2.1.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, while I understand your justifiable annoyance, there is nothing to fight, unless you can show that the discrimination against you directly violates the local civil service hiring rules, or stems from race, color, nationality, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, disparate pay between sexes, pregnancy, age or disability.

If you can show the discrimination, then you have a case. And, you could certainly try to get a court to equate ancestry discrimination with nepotism -- if you want to be the test case. However, the statute of limitations for making a discriminatio claim with the government EEO office is 300 days -- so, if you want to file a complaint, you are running out of time.

Hope this helps.

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