My boss at the time was told he could not employ his sister by HR so he instructed her to create a contracting company and then he put a contract out to tender and selected the contracting company she made. Result being someone employing their sister.

I don't feel it is fair and didn't do anything about it at the time for the sake of towing the line but now I've left the company I don't know if or what I should do about it. Any thoughts? Is that legal?

  • 1
    Whether it's legal or not - now that you are not part of the company, how are you planning to have it reported? Dec 23, 2019 at 17:55
  • 3
    If you are not part of the company anymore, then why would you need to do anything about it? What do you want to accomplish?
    – MikeQ
    Dec 23, 2019 at 17:55
  • Is the company owned by your boss? Dec 23, 2019 at 18:44
  • I doubt theirs anything illegal, just a company policy
    – dustytrash
    Dec 23, 2019 at 19:31
  • 1
    Is this a government organisation?
    – jcm
    Dec 24, 2019 at 6:47

2 Answers 2


You probably want a different site to truly answer the legality, but nepotism is generally frowned upon, but I don’t think illegal. How they went about it sounds more like loopholes and tricks than any real legal issues as well.

As far as what to do, it’s a matter of your motivations—morality? vengeance?—and your risks. Burning bridges is rarely recommended from a purely employment-based consideration. You might someday interview where he works or otherwise have your circles of influence mix. If it is just a dislike for the boss and/or his tactics, you’re better off dropping it and letting the company take the responsibility for enforcing its own rules around nepotism.

If the risk is not great enough to dissuade you and you feel some strong moral obligation, then let the company know. A simple call or email to HR could get the ball rolling, if they choose to act. If so, I applaud your convictions and can tell you that the times I took a stand in my career despite possible repercussions are some of the times I most fondly remember. I was never harmed by their outcomes, but each case is its own.

Only you can assess how important it is to you to punish this questionable behavior and how much risk of it coming back around to you there is. There are outlier considerations, e.g. might he snap and stalk you, etc. While these may be extreme and unlikely, it’s part of the equation to factor in.

  • 1
    That kind of thing is really not about legality. If the company owner does it, it may be bad for business, but it's the company owner's money, and totally legal. But if "boss" is not the company owner but some manager, and this wastes the company's money, against orders by HR, then he isn't doing his job, and the company would likely consider firing him.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 24, 2019 at 16:26

IANAL and the legality would most certainly depend on location but, I would be inclined to say that it's not against the law.

It's certainly morally wrong, considering the company wouldn't allow him to directly employ his sister.

None of this should be of any concern to you anymore. You've left the company now and should leave these things in the past to focus on a brighter future.

Notifying the company now is only going to drag you closer to the situation that you've left behind. If the company is any good at enforcing their policies they will eventually find out on their own, if not, telling them now isn't going to make things any better in future.

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