3.0.13 Children in the Workplace

Administrative Responsibility:   AVP, Human Resources

PURPOSE

Maintaining the health and safety of Wayne State University employees, students, guests and visitors relies upon the control of hazardous conditions and prevention of unsafe behaviors. When the visitors are children, diligence must be heightened. While the workplace is typically not an appropriate place for children of employees, Wayne State University recognizes that employees may occasionally want to bring children to the workplace for brief visits or specific campus events. The purpose of this policy is to promote health and safety while minimizing University risk related to children in the workplace.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees of the university.

DEFINITIONS

  1. "Child" or "children" means a person or persons less than 18 years of age, and not enrolled or admitted for enrollment in classes at Wayne State University.
  2. "Employee" means any faculty or staff who has responsibility for a child, as defined above, while in the workplace regardless of the employee's relationship to the child.
  3. "High risk area" includes any area deemed high risk by the Office of Risk Management or any area with: hazardous levels of radiation; hazardous chemicals or substances; hazardous biological agents or vectors; or hazardous equipment or processes. Examples of areas with these characteristics include, but are not limited to:
  • Laboratories (excluding those designed for research subjects who are minors)
    • Clinical areas
  • Machine shops, woodworking shops, or similar workshop areas
  • Mechanical rooms
  • Boiler Rooms
  • Construction areas
  • Maintenance garages
  • Animal care or animal research facilities
  • Food preparation areas
  • High security areas

POLICY

With prior management approval, it is generally acceptable to bring children into the workplace in the following situations:

  1. Brief visits (e.g., an employee brings his/her child, grandchild or other minor relative in to introduce that child to co-workers).
  2. Specific campus events that are employer-sanctioned and at which attendance by children is encouraged (e.g. Take Your Child to Work Day).

When children are brought to the workplace, the following requirements apply:

  • Children are expressly prohibited from entering high risk areas as defined in this policy.
  • An employee who brings a child to the workplace is responsible for keeping the child within his or her "sight and sound" and direct supervision at all times. The employee may not ask another employee or student to supervise the child.
  • An employee who brings a child to the workplace is responsible for all aspects of the child's behavior. The employee is responsible for the child's safety and is financially responsible for any damages caused by the child.
  • The presence of the child should be limited to a specific amount of time as approved by the employee's manager.
  • The presence of the child cannot disrupt the work environment or negatively impact the productivity of the employee who brought the child or other employees or students.
  • The child is not to use equipment, including computers and telephones.

The workplace may not be used as an alternative for child care. When child care arrangements break down, an employee should seek alternatives to bringing the child to the workplace. In such cases, an employee typically uses appropriate accrued leave hours or leave without pay and cares for a child at home.

A child who has an illness that prevents him or her from being accepted by a regular day care provider or attending school, particularly a child with infectious disease, may not be brought to the workplace under any circumstances.

Exclusions  

Except as provided elsewhere in this policy, or other University policies, laws and regulations that limit access to or otherwise regulate high-risk areas, this policy does not apply when a child:

  • Is enrolled or admitted as a University student
  • Is employed by the University
  • Is attending a University-sanctioned childcare facility
  • Is attending a University-sanctioned camp, child care program, or youth enrichment program;
    or
  • Has a parent with a workplace assignment in which one of the conditions of employment is residency in a campus facility (e.g., live-in resident hall director).

PROCEDURE

  1. An employee must obtain prior approval from management to bring a child to the workplace. In considering an employee's request for a child's visit under this policy, management should consider the following:
  • Address issues of possible disruption to the co-workers in the workplace;
  • Consider the extent to which the child's presence in the workplace poses a risk of breaching confidentiality of information in the workplace;
  • Consider the extent to which the child's presence is appropriate to the specific work being accomplished.
  1. Management has the authority to deny the presence of children in the workplace.
  2. Management may revoke previously granted permission for the employee to bring the child to the workplace and may direct an employee to remove a child from the workplace at any time if the manager determines that this policy has been violated or that the child's presence negatively impacts University interests. In this event, the employee will be charged with leave for any time that he or she is absent from his/her assigned station.
  3. Violations  - Any employee who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

APPENDICES

N/A

Effective Date: 6/21/2017

Revised Date:

Reviewed Date: 4/23/2018

To be reviewed, at minimum, every three years and/or revised as needed by:  AVP, Human Resources

Next Review Date: 4/22/2021

SUPERSEDES POLICY

N/A

HISTORICAL DATES

N/A