Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 60: Personnel

Children in the Workplace

BPPM 60.82

For more information contact:
   Human Resource Services / 509-335-4521

1.0   Policy

University employees are not to bring children to the workplace except as permitted by this policy.

1.1   Definition

For purposes of this policy, a child is defined as an individual under the age of 18 years who is not a student or employee of the University.

2.0   Applicability

This policy applies to employees and volunteers who may wish to bring dependent children to the workplace. This policy does not apply to:

  • Minors involved in University programs or programs held on University-owned or controlled property (see EP14).
  • Minors who are approved as official volunteers (see BPPM 60.81)
  • Approved University programs that involve children in education or research.
  • Children enrolled in approved University childcare facilities.

3.0   Requirements

3.1   Sick Children

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

3.2   Childcare

The workplace may not be used as an alternative for regular childcare.

When childcare arrangements break down, an employee should seek alternatives to bringing the child to the workplace. In such cases, an employee typically uses accrued leave hours or leave without pay and cares for a child at home.

3.2.a   Emergency Exceptions

In emergencies, e.g., when the employee cannot be absent from the workplace, the supervisor may grant an exception to this policy. To request an exception, an employee submits a written request to the supervisor. Approved exceptions are subject to the requirements in Section 3.4.

3.3   Acceptable Activities

Participation in an organized and approved educational event that permits children to observe and/or participate in parents’ work activities is acceptable.

An incidental and brief visit by a child to a parent’s workplace is acceptable.

3.4   When Children Are Brought to the Workplace

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

  • Children are expressly prohibited from entering hazardous areas. Laboratories, kitchens, and workshops are examples of locations that often present hazards to children.
  • The employee who brought the child to the workplace is responsible for keeping the child within their “sight and sound” at all times. The employee may not ask any other employee or student to supervise the child.
  • The employee who brought the 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 cannot disrupt the work environment or negatively impact the productivity of the employee who brought the child or other employees or students.
  • The employee’s supervisor may direct the employee to remove the child from the workplace at any time if the supervisor determines that this policy has been violated or that the child’s presence negatively impacts University interests.

4.0   References

  • BPPM 50.20 (For the general University policy regarding access to facilities.)
  • EP14 (Regarding minors in University programs or programs held on University-owned or -controlled property.)

Revisions:  Sept. 2023 (Rev. 614); March 2015 (Reviewed); March 2002 – new policy (Rev. 204).