Pittsburgh school board approves revised employee policies

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The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools tonight approved about 20 revised employee policies, including one aimed at reducing conflicts of interest and nepotism.

The conflict of interest policy was expanded to including additional "potentially conflicting relationships" and broadened by replacing the word "supervisor" with "employee."

With the new policy, an employee is now banned from "interviewing, recommending for hiring, contracting with, supervising or promoting a relative or a person with whom s/he has a familial or intimate relationship."

The policy lists a number of relationships, including parent-child; stepparent-stepchild; grandparent-grandchild; husband-wife; sibling-sibling; uncle/aunt, niece/nephew; mother-in-law/father-in-law, son-in-law/daughter-in-law; domestic partners; and paramours.

Another revised policy covers gifts. This as expanded to include gifts from students or their parents/guardians or family members. Gifts under $75 per gift are "generally" considered of "nominal value" and may be accepted.

Some of the policy changes were clarifications, revisions, deletions of redundancies or catch-ups to legal changes.

The list includes:

• The tobacco use policy now bans electronic cigarettes and removes the possibility of designated smoking areas.

• The dress and grooming policy sets more specific guidelines for the expectations of professional dress for employees.

• The use of district intellectual property policy was expanded.

• The political activities policy put restrictions on employee representative elections.

Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.

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