Policy:Children (Dependents) of Employees in the Workplace
Issue Date:October 1, 2015
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is committed to maintaining the safety and health of employees, students, visitors, and guests. It is the intent to minimize liability and potentially hazardous and unsafe practices in and around the campus-owned grounds and buildings.
The workplace is typically not an appropriate place for children of employees; however, the University does recognize that employees may experience an emergent or urgent situation and/or the necessity to bring children for a brief visit to campus, specifically for campus events, a unique situation and/or family emergencies.
For purposes of this policy, "child" or "children" means a person or persons under 18 years of age, who is a dependent of the employee, is being supervise by the employee, and not enrolled or admitted for enrollment in a specific program or class.
"Employee" means any employee who is being compensated for work while on campus and has responsibility for a child, as defined above, while in the workplace, regardless of the employee's relationship to the child.
"High Risk Area" includes any area deemed high risk by the campus risk manager, or any area with: Hazardous levels of radiation; hazardous chemicals or substances; hazardous biological agents or vectors, hazardous equipment or process and/or high elevations. Examples of areas with these characteristics include, but may not be limited to the following:
- Laboratories (excluding those designed for research subjects who are minors);
- Machine shops, woodworking ships, or similar workshop areas;
- Mechanical rooms;
- Steam plants;
- Construction areas;
- Maintenance garages;
- Animal care or animal research facilities;
- Fitness centers;
- Theater high wire areas;
- Temperature controlled rooms;
- High security areas, and/or
- Areas that are excluded for general employee or student access.
"Administration" includes the employee's supervisor; manager; department chair; dean; provosts; assistant/vice chancellor, or chancellor.
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 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).
This policy addresses he factors to consider when allowing an employee to bring a child into the workplace. Circumstances in which employees want to bring children into the workplace generally fall into the following acceptable categories:
- Brief visits (e.g., an employee brings his/her child, grandchild or other minor relative to introduce the child to co-workers;
- Specific campus events that are employer-sanctioned and at which attendance by children is encouraged (e.g., Take Your Child to work Day).
- In the event of an emergency.
Abuse of Policy: Children are not to be brought to the workplace on a regular basis in lieu of childcare.
High Risk Areas: Children are not allowed in high risk areas, as defined in this policy, unless an exception has been agreed to by administration (the employee's supervisor; manager; department chair; dean; provost; assistant/vice chancellors, or chancellor), and if there is a question of institutional risk or safety, the supervisor of the employee may wish to seek guidance by the Risk Manager of the campus.
Responsibilities: Generally, an employee who brings a child into the workplace shall not leave the child unattended or unsupervised. Employees are responsible for verifying with their supervisor the circumstances under which children are allowed in their specific workplace. If a member from administration allows the occasional workplace visit of children to the workplace, both the employee responsible for the child and the supervisor of the employee must accept certain responsibilities (provided herein) to protect the welfare of the child and the University.
An employee who brings a child to the workplace must:
- Be the individual who primarily supervises and cares for the child while in the workplace;
- Prevent any breech of confidential information;
- Address with administration any issues related to the child's well-being, if applicable;
- Provide information to the employee's supervisor that includes: name, date of birth, and emergency contact information (other than the employee), and
- Accept full responsibility for all aspects of the child's behavior; including, but not limited to: safety of the child; disruption to co-workers; unauthorized or inappropriate use of university resources, and any damage or property or injury to persons.
A member of management must:
- Determine that either hazards are not likely to exist, or that hazards can be controlled under the circumstances in which the child will be present;
- Address potential issues of possible disruption to 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;
- Get information from the employee about the child that includes, at a minimum: name, date of birth, and emergency contact information (other than the employee), and
- Consider the health of co-workers before an employee is allowed to bring a child with an infectious health issue/disease to the workplace.
Denial of Permission. Notwithstanding the exceptions provided by this policy, administration has the authority and the right to deny the presence of children in the workplace. Administration may revoke previously granted permission for the employee to bring the child into the workplace (e.g., the child's presence is determined to be disruptive in the workplace).
Violations. Any employee who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.