Guidance Policy for Children in the Workplace AP-01-117

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-01-117
Effective: November 11, 2013
Review: 3 years

Title: Guidance Policy for Children in the Workplace

Maintained by: ACBF
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: November 2016

Printable PDF versiondocument


Maintaining the safety and health of UW System employees, students, guests and visitors relies upon the control of hazardous conditions and prevention of unsafe behaviors. When the visitors are children, diligence to guard against unsafe conditions and unpredictable behaviors must be heightened.  

The workplace is typically not an appropriate place for children of employees. However, the UW System recognizes that employees may occasionally want to bring children to the workplace for brief visits, specific campus events, situational convenience, or family emergencies.  

This guidance policy provides a framework for institutions to use in determining when and how to allow for the occasional workplace visit of employee children.


This policy addresses the factors to consider when allowing an exception for an employee to bring a child to the workplace.

Circumstances in which employees want to bring children into the workplace generally fall into the following acceptable categories:  

  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. 
  3. For the convenience of an employee, children may be brought to the workplace by employees for times when common sense would dictate that it is more efficient for the employee to bring the child into an workplace (e.g., following or before a physician's appointment).  
  4. In the event of an emergency.   

Abuse of policy: Children are not to be brought to work on a regular basis in lieu of childcare.  

Unacceptable exposures: Under no circumstances will children be allowed to be exposed to:

  • hazardous levels of radiation,
  • hazardous biological agents or vectors,
  • hazardous chemicals, or
  • hazardous equipment or processes.   

High risk areas: Children are not allowed in high risk areas, as defined in this policy, unless an exception has been agreed to by management of the area and the institutional risk or safety officer.   


For purposes of this policy: 

"Child" or "children" means "a person under the age of 18 years of age who is not enrolled in classes at the university." 

"Employee" means any employee who 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: 

  • laboratories and shops with hazardous substances, equipment, or processes;
  • mechanical rooms;
  • steam plants;
  • construction areas;
  • garages;
  • animal care or animal research facilities;
  • food preparation areas;
  • fitness centers;
  • high security areas;
  • areas that are excluded for general employee or student access; and 
  • other areas deemed high risk by the campus risk manager.   

"Management" includes supervisors, managers, managers of work areas, department chairs, deans, provosts, or chancellors.


This policy does not apply to a child who:

  • is enrolled as a university student;
  • is employed by the university;
  • is enrolled in university childcare;
  • is a participant in an approved university camp, child care program, or youth enrichment program; or 
  • has a parent with a workplace assignment in which one of the conditions of the employment is residency in a campus facility, e.g., live-in resident hall director.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.
The Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to admnistrative-policy@uwrf.edumail.

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


Responsibilities: Employees are responsible for verifying with their manager the circumstances under which children are allowed in their specific workplace. If management allows the occasional workplace visit of children to the workplace, both the employee of the child and workplace management must accept responsibilities to protect the welfare of the child and the integrity of the workplace.

Employees must: 

  • be the primary caregiver for the child; and
  • accept full responsibility for all aspects of the child's behavior, the child's safety and for any damage to property or injury to persons that is caused by the child's presence.   

Management must:

  • address any safety and health concerns for the child and to others present in the workplace;
  • determine that hazards are not likely to exist or can be controlled under the circumstances in which the child will be present;
  • address potential issues of possible disruption to other employees 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.   

Denial of permission: Notwithstanding the exceptions provided by this policy, management has the authority to deny the presence of children in the workplace. 

  • Management may revoke previously granted permission for the employee to bring the child to the workplace (e.g., the child's presence is later determined to be disruptive to the workplace).
  • Management must consider the health of other employees before an employee is allowed to bring a child with an infectious disease to the workplace.
University Responsibilities

Office of the Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance


Please direct questions about this policy to administrative-policy@uwrf.edumail.