2016.03 Children in the Workplace

Policy Number  2016.03
Effective Date  May 2, 2016
Revision Date  May 2, 2016
Subject Matter Expert TB/HIV/STD Section Director
Approval Authority  TB/HIV/STD Section Director
Signed by  Felipe Rocha, M.S.S.W.

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide general guidelines regarding children in the workplace. It is designed to clearly stipulate when and under what circumstances children may be allowed in the workplace.

2.0 Policy

It is the policy of the TB/HIV/STD Section that children will be permitted in the workplace only when escorted and attended by the parent and for a short transition period.

3.0 Definitions/Acronyms

Unforeseen Circumstances – Circumstances that were not anticipated or predicted that require an employee to stay home with their child.

Parent – As a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, legal guardian, or legal custodian of a minor child; or an adult child with a disability that requires parental supervision/oversight to ensure the safety of that person.

Transitional period - A reasonable period of time (not to exceed two hours) in which the parent stops by the office with the child before going to some destination, for example, to an appointment or to the employee’s home. Such extenuating circumstances are to be occasional and infrequent. They are not to occur as a matter of routine. “Transitional period” specifically does not include times when a child has been released from day care or school and then comes to the workplace to wait for a ride home.

4.0 Persons Affected

All Section/Branch employees.

5.0 Responsibilities

Employee (Parent) – It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure the safety and welfare of the child while on DSHS property. The employee (parent) is also responsible for ensuring that the child is confined to those areas in which the parent can observe the child’s behavior.

Supervisor/manager – It is the responsibility of the supervisor/manager to implement this policy and ensure that employees who bring children to work understand the circumstances under which children are allowed in the workplace.

6.0 Procedures

The procedures for allowing children in the workplace are as follows:

6.1 Employees must coordinate their child’s visit with their supervisor prior to bringing the child to the workplace.

6.2 Employees may also request to work remotely if necessary and must have supervisor’s approval. However this should only be requested occasionally and not for more than one day.

6.3 Children must be signed in on the appropriate sign-in log and must be supervised by the employee (parent) for the duration of the child’s stay in the building.

6.4 When circumstances do not allow for the above procedures or the unforeseen circumstances extend beyond the transitional period, the employee may also request to use their leave.

6.5 Children may be in the office or cubicle areas of the Pharmacy Branch as long as they are directly supervised by the parent and all other provisions of this policy are followed. No children are permitted in the Central Warehouse area.

7.0 Violation of Policy

It will be considered a violation of policy if the employee (parent) allows any one of the following to occur:

  • Children are in the workplace without permission from the employee/parent’s supervisor;

  • Children are left unattended by their parent/employee;

  • Children are disrupting the work of any employee, contractor, or other person conducting official business in agency facilities;

  • Children are in the workplace in a contagious condition, have vomited or had diarrhea within the past 24 hours and/or have a fever above 99°F within the last 24 hours;

  • Children are utilizing agency computers, equipment, or other State of Texas resources for any reason;

  • Children are performing any job-related activities on behalf of their parent or any other employee (e.g., photocopying, filing, etc.);

  • Children are in the workplace longer than the transitional period permitted under this policy;

  • Children are left alone in a DSHS or privately owned vehicle (parent’s) while the employee is performing official DSHS business. This does not preclude an employee (parent) from dropping off or picking up a child on the way to or after work;

  • A number of transitional periods exceeding what is considered reasonable for the work environment, as determined by the supervisor/manager; and

  • Employee/parent requires or asks someone else to monitor the child.

8.0 Revision History

Date Action Section
9/1/2017 Changed "TB/HIV/STD Unit" to "TB/HIV/STD Section" to reflect new program designation -
5/2/2016 New policy All