Original Issuance Date:         January 27, 2016
Last Revision Date:                August 7, 2017

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish UW System Administration’s policy regarding the presence of children in the workplace.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Senior Associate Vice President for UW System Human Resources

3. Scope

This policy applies to all UW System Administration employees.

4. Background

This policy adopts recommendations included in the Office of Internal Audit’s Review of Policies Related to the Reporting of Crimes Against Children (May 2012).

Maintaining the safety and health of University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) employees, 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.  UWSA, however, recognizes that employees may occasionally want to bring children to the workplace for brief visits, specific events, or situational convenience.

5. Definitions

For purposes of this policy:

“Child” or “children” means a person or persons less than 18 years of age.

“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 any area with hazardous substances or equipment. Examples of high risk areas include:

  • construction areas;
  • garages; and
  • other areas unsafe for children.

“Management” includes the UW System President, Vice Presidents, and all other supervisors.

6. Policy Statement

This policy addresses the factors to consider when allowing an employee to bring a child into the workplace. Children are not to be brought to the workplace on a repeated basis in lieu of childcare.  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 or her child, grandchild, or other minor relative in to introduce that child to co-workers).
  2. Specific events that are employer sanctioned and at which attendance by children is encouraged (e.g., Take Your Child To Work Day).

High risk areas:  Children are not allowed in high risk areas under this policy unless an exception has been agreed to by management of the area and the UW Occupational Safety Manager.

Responsibilities:  Generally, an employee who brings a child into the workplace shall not leave the child unsupervised.  Employees are responsible for verifying with their supervisor 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 responsible for the child and workplace management must accept certain responsibilities (listed below) to protect the welfare of the child and the integrity of the workplace.

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 disclosure 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 to co-workers, unauthorized or inappropriate use of UWSA resources, and any damage to property or injury to persons.

Management must:

  • 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; and
  • consider the health of co-workers before an employee is allowed to bring a child with an infectious disease (e.g., severe common cold) to the workplace.

Denial of permission:  Notwithstanding the exceptions provided by this policy, management has the right to refuse to authorize 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., when the child’s presence is later determined to be disruptive to the workplace).

Violations:  Any employee who violates this policy may be subject to discipline.

7. Related Documents

Executive Order # 54 by Governor Walker
Practice Directive Gen B: Child Safety and Executive Order # 54

8. Policy History

Revision 1:                  August 7, 2017
First approved:            January 27, 2017

9. Scheduled Review

January 2021