Claim: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner working in the White House is a violation of the Nepotism Law.
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, are working as advisors in the White House. Some questions have been raised as to whether or not this constitutes a violation of the Nepotism law. Ethics advocates sent a letter to Don McGhan, White House counsel, of their reservations.
In the broad sense, nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives and friends in the areas of business, politics, entertainment, and a variety of other activities. It is generally seen as unethical for both parties. Legally, the Nepotism law states the following about hiring a relative.
A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.
The penalty for violating the Nepotism law is that the person who was hired does not get paid. There are some exceptions in the event of an emergency and it does not apply to the hiring of a “preference eligible” person (such as a disable veteran). Neither of these exceptions apply in this case.
To address the ethics concerns, Kushner and Trump are working on a volunteer basis and will not be paid. Additionally, they will be subject to all ethics rules that apply to Federal employees.
In the broad sense, Trump and Kushner working for President Trump is nepotism and all them are acting in an unethical manner. Legally, it is a gray area. Trump and Kushner will be working without pay which is what the penalty for violating the Nepotism law would be. It is easy to argue that they know that they are violating the law and have chosen to take the penalty. For this reason, this claim is being considered true.
References and Further Reading
- 5 U.S. Code § 3110 – Employment of relatives; restrictions
- Ivanka Trump is making her White House job official