Children In The Workplace

Swarthmore College is committed to providing a safe work environment for faculty and staff and strives to be supportive of family values. Sharing in each other's family lives helps keep us connected. However, there are health, safety, environmental, and regulatory concerns that must be addressed when considering the presence of children in the workplace. There are many imminent dangers for children and a great potential for accidents and incidents in which children either harm themselves or inadvertently create a hazard for others. Appropriate limitations and guidelines are required to protect health and safety and to maintain work productivity and regulatory compliance.

Children and minors are not allowed in the workplace on a regular basis. Rarely and with supervisory approval (in advance), an employee may bring his/her child to work in an emergency situation. In all cases of children in the workplace, the College is not responsible for ensuring the child is safe and well supervised. Parents are fully responsible for the safety and supervision of the child for the entire visit.

Supervisors and department heads may place additional restrictions on the presence of children in the workplace consistent with the work being performed and the demands of the work area.

Guidelines for Children in the Workplace

  1. Employees must always obtain permission in advance from their supervisor before bringing a child or minor to work.
  2. A parent or guardian must provide line-of-sight supervision of the child at all times.
  3. Children should not be left alone at any time or left with other employees.
  4. Children can not interrupt normal workplace activities.
  5. Children are not permitted to perform work of any kind at any time as required by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  6. Children are not allowed to ride at any time in any College owned motorized vehicle, including golf carts.
  7. Children are never permitted in the following high risk areas:
    • Laboratories, workshops, studios, power plant, garages, food preparation areas
    • Any area, indoors or out, containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts
    • Any area where College vehicles such as snow machinery, grounds equipment, heavy duty, or other motorized equipment are being used
    • Any other high risk area such as playing in a stairwell, access to rooftops, or access to construction zones
  8. In the unlikely event that a visiting child becomes lost on campus, the parent should contact Public Safety for assistance in locating the child.
  9. If there are repeated instances where the parent does not maintain supervision of the child, the College may decide that the risk of injury or harm to the child is too great to allow the employee to continue bringing the child to campus.