UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Policy for Children in the Workplace AP-01-117

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-01-117
Effective: November 11, 2013
Revision: November 24, 2014
Review: 3 years

Title: Policy for Children in the Workplace

Maintained by: ACBF
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: November 2017


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Overview

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.  

Policy

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.  

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 officer. Even children excluded from this policy, as defined in the "Exclusions" sections, are not allowed in high-risk areas, unless an exception exists.

Definitions 

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.

Exclusions 

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.

Procedure 

Responsibilities. Generally, an employee who brings a child into the workplace shall not leave the child unsupervised. 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 listed below to protect the welfare of the child and the integrity of the workplace.

Employees must: 

  • be the individual who primarily supervises and cares for the child while in the workplace;
  • prevent any breach of confidential information;
  • address with management any issues related to a child's infectious disease; and
  • accept full responsibility for all aspects of the child's behavior, including: safety of the child, disruption of co-workers, unauthorized or inappropriate use of university resources, and any damage to property to injury to persons.

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; and
  • 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.

Violations. Any employee who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Authority

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 administrative-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.

Contact

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