#1  
Unread 07-26-2001, 10:41 AM
HRgal
 
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Default Employees bringing children to work

We have a staff person who repeatedly brings 4 minor children to her work site. This has been reported by her co-workers and is disrupting their work. Our handbook does not specifically speak to children at work. Does anyone have any suggestions as how to deal with this problem or a sample policy.


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  #2  
Unread 07-26-2001, 11:04 AM
Down-the-Middle
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

Developing a policy for this type of thing, in my opinion, is the Congress approach and is goofy. I can't imagine too many workplaces (other than theme parks and child care centers) where bringing children to work (repeatedly) makes sense. I'd tell the employee that the workplace is not the place for her children and expect her to understand and comply with that. If it continues to be a problem, she s/b invited to go work for Disney. If she objects becuz you don't have a policy governing minor children in the workplace, you might point out that you also don't have policies on common sense-----altho you're giving that serious consideration at the present time!!!!!
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  #3  
Unread 08-14-2001, 10:26 AM
Lois
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

We have had to deal with this issue at our work place. We did not have nor did we develop a policy specifically addressing children (or pets--another issue!) in the work place. We felt that our Safety and our "get along with your coworkers" policies/expectations sufficiently protected our right to prohibit children at work.
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  #4  
Unread 10-12-2001, 01:57 PM
SandiF
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

That's a great answer!
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  #5  
Unread 12-03-2001, 08:40 AM
Awilliams
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

When I first became a mother I thought it would be great if I could just bring my newborn son to work with me. He didn't take up much space, hardly cried, and I could just put him in a desk drawer if I had a meeting with a client, right? Wrong. I couldn't imagine bringing my son to work and actually working once I got there. And I believe my boss is paying me to work, not to watch every gurgle my son makes (plus the fact that now he is 2 and can do laps around the building in the time it would take me to make it down the hall). Have the employee's supervisor tell her that the workplace is for work, period. Perhaps the employee is having some family or daycare problems, so the supervisor could also refer her to your EAP and hopefully they can help her work those issues out.

Good luck!

Anne Williams
Attorney Editor
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  #6  
Unread 12-03-2001, 10:42 AM
Theresa Gegen TX
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

That is a great answer, but I would not make any type of flippant or sarcastic comment to the employee (even though I personally believe that bringing 4 small children to work is beyond the realm of common sense about acceptable behavior). A sarcastic or flippant comment can set an employee off. I can't tell you how many depositions I've taken where the employee is mad and suing because they don't think they were treated with respect (regardless of the legal dressing they put on it [age, race, etc.]). It is always better for the employer to take the high road and be professional, even if the employee isn't.

I would just tell her that it is not acceptable for her to bring her children to the workplace.

Good Luck

Theresa Gegen
Attorney Editor -- Texas
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  #7  
Unread 12-06-2001, 04:48 AM
Gillian
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

Well, I'm in California and live 20 miles from Disneyland and although I haven't worked for Disney, from what I read in the newspapers about their employment disputes and from what I hear from people who have worked there, I doubt that Disney would allow it either. While Disney is touted as the "happiest place on earth", there is a love/hate relationship from an employment perspective.
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  #8  
Unread 12-06-2001, 05:43 AM
felicia_matthews
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

>We have a staff person who repeatedly brings 4 minor children to her
>work site. This has been reported by her co-workers and is disrupting
>their work. Our handbook does not specifically speak to children at
>work. Does anyone have any suggestions as how to deal with this
>problem or a sample policy.

Not only is this a distraction for the employee and other co-workers, but what if one of the children gets hurt? Anyone who would repeatedly bring their children to work and lacks a basic understanding of business etiquette, is the same type of person to not hesitate to call their neighborhood lawyer for an accident or injury on your property...This employee is getting away with free childcare!

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  #9  
Unread 12-06-2001, 09:28 AM
Rockie
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

We actualy have a policy about not bringing children to work. We don't allow it unless they have the express permission of the supervisor. If it is an emergency situation where they have to pick them up from daycare and return to work and someone is going to pick them up within 30 minutes - an hour, then it is allowed with supervisory approval. Usually, this doesn't occur as kids can be very disruptive to others.

We also had to put a pet policy in place because we had a doctor bringing his dog to work and letting him run around the office (this was a small, out of town office), but even though peoplein general, thought he was cute, he wreaked havoc with the staff and patients trying not to step on him.

You wouldn't think you would have to deal with this kind of stuff in the workplace, but...it happens.

As far as making employees angry, I just returned from a Personnel Update which I try to attend at least once a year. One of our speakers specialized as a Plaintiff's attorney and he stated that 90% complaints started off being filed because employees got angry at something their employers said or how they presented it. I know that sometimes people in general can try your soul, but it we keep from getting hostile and angry at them, maybe we can keep ourselves out of unnecessary hot water. I know...easier said than done sometimes.
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  #10  
Unread 12-07-2001, 01:51 AM
Gar
 
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Default RE: Employees bringing children to work

We don't have a written policy but our supervisors are urged not to tolerate it for the very reason Felicia mentions (injury). Don't misunderstand, we aren't hard nosed about it and may look the other way if it happens once or twice - every few years. But, as a general unwritten rule, it's a no-no. As Felicia so aptly points out, the person lacking in social smarts is the very person who will sue you when their little Johnny injures him/herself as a result of jumping up and down on a desk and falling off. Moreover, an employee may drag your employer into court if injured as a result of little Johnny creating a safety hazard by playing in the water fountain or rollerblading down the hallway.
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