101.14 - Dependents in the Workplace Policy

University Group Policy #101.14

Policy Statement

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) values its employees and recognizes the importance that families fulfill in the lives of employees. The purpose of this policy is not to devalue that importance, but rather to insure that employees are not distracted from their duties by the presence of dependents in the workplace other than for limited periods and on emergency basis, pending approval by the employee’s immediate supervisor or department head. This policy also recognizes that many workplaces are not safe for children or other dependents. As such, the University's insurance does not cover children or dependents if they are injured in the workplace making the potential liability to the University significant. To protect the well-being of fellow employees, consideration will not be given to allow a dependent family member with an illness to accompany an employee to the workplace. This Policy applies to all employees and each immediate supervisor is responsible for closely monitoring compliance.

Definitions

Dependent is defined as a person for whom an employee may have caregiver responsibility regardless of the age of the person. This includes biological and adopted children, step-children, and others for whom the employee serves as a guardian. Workplaces shall include offices, classrooms, and/or any other places on campus where business is conducted.

Guidelines

A request to bring a dependent to the workplace should be addressed to the immediate supervisor with as much advance notice as the circumstances allow. When receiving a request, the immediate supervisor should consider factors including: age or any special needs of the Dependent; how long the individual needs to be present; the work environment in the employee's area; and any possible disruption to the employee's and co-worker's work. If the immediate supervisor grants the request, the department head should be notified of the request and advised of the reasons for granting the request. If permission is granted and a dependent is brought to the workplace, it will be the responsibility of the employee parent/guardian to ensure that the dependent is accompanied and under their direct supervision at all times. As an alternative to approving the dependent in the workplace, immediate supervisors in consultation with the department head may wish to consider other options such as a flexible work schedule or granting the employee use of accrued leave. Exceptions to this general rule include:

  • Minors who are enrolled as students at WSSU;
  • Officially sponsored institutional programmatic activities for non-students and minor children with appropriate adult supervision;
  • Special occasions that are employer-sanctioned and at which attendance by children is encouraged. Special occasions should be coordinated with and approved by the employee’s supervisor after considering and satisfactorily addressing the factors set forth in the procedures above; and
  • Employees who are required to live in university-owned facilities as a condition of employment.

The Employee shall be held personally responsible for any and all damages caused by the child/dependent. Should the presence of the child/dependent become disruptive, the supervisor has the right to immediately revoke his or her permission and require the Employee to immediately remove the child/dependent from the workplace. An Employee’s failure to comply will be considered unacceptable personal conduct and subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Applicability

The policy applies to all Winston-Salem State University employees.


Responsible Division: Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:

  • Adopted: June 19, 2009
  • Amended: June 21, 2013