It’s definitely nepotism–but is it too risky to call it out?

Q: “Management allowed my boss to hire one of her relatives, even though this is against company policy. My manager and ‘Wendy’ were not close before, but now they carpool, eat lunch together, and even plan joint family vacations. When I said that vacationing with an employee seemed inappropriate, my boss replied that it was none of my business. 

“My concern is that Wendy is not being properly supervised. Her work is often incorrect, but my boss constantly makes excuses for her. Whenever I bring this up, my manager gets defensive, and we wind up having an argument.

“The executive who approved Wendy’s hiring has left, so our current management may not be aware of their relationship. I don’t know whether to report this policy violation or just ignore it and focus on my work.” Wendy’s co-worker

A: This is exactly why most companies don’t allow managers to supervise relatives. Only you can decide whether ratting out your boss is worth the risk, but you do need to stop arguing with her. Since she is clearly never going to agree with you, continuing to share your opinions about this family relationship will only make matters worse.

If you have a helpful human resources department, you might ask your HR manager for an interpretation of the nepotism policy in this situation. Just be sure that doing so won’t jeopardize your own job security.

At work, some things are just better left unsaid. Here are a few of them: Eight Topics to Avoid at the Office.