HR's new rule prompts a
Posted April 7, 2006

Imagine yourself in a few years working full time and having a child. What are you going to do? Well the obvious solution to the problem is to get a babysitter.
But what if you cannot afford a babysitter or can’t find one you like or trust?

This is what many parents have to go through during the early years of their children’s lives. The next question that arises is: Should children be allowed at a professional workplace?

According to the University’s Human Resource Department, the answer is a loud and clear “no.”

Many of us can remember going to work with our parents while growing up. What we do not remember is if we were a distraction to others around us.

“If the child is quiet and not running around the classroom, and the professor doesn’t make it an everyday thing, then I don’t have a problem with it,” Junior Joe Camacho said.

There are a few professors on campus who have children they feel are too young to be separated from them.

The new policy from HR, however, says young children can only accompany their parents to work in an emergency and with prior written permission.

Until recently, ULV’s policy wasn’t nearly so strict.

Professors used to be able to bring their children to the workplace without worrying they might get in trouble.

Professor of Movement and Sports Science Marilyn Oliver was one of these professors. The mother of three daughters, she brought all of them to campus frequently.

“Before my children came to work with me, I let them know the rules of my job and how they needed to act,” Oliver said.

If a child is well-behaved and not disruptive, why shut him or her out of this learning environment? Such a policy can be a terrible hardship for parents trying to support a family on a modest ULV salary, not to mention a royal logistical pain in the butt.

An obvious problem with the emergency provision to the new policy is that employees can’t predict when they will have an emergency to get advance clearance to bring the kid along. If something comes up suddenly, it’s a pretty safe bet that filling out a stupid form is going to be the last thing the parent will want to be doing.

“If my child has a contagious disease then she is not coming to work with me,” Oliver said.

Being on a semester system this university requires some subjects, such as math or Spanish to stick to a strict learning schedule.

Professors may feel pressure from the new policy to stay home and cancel class if their child needs them or if the babysitter is sick. In that case, it’s the students that also lose. Nobody likes a situation where there are no winners, but HR has thrown caution and common sense to the wind in instituting this unnecessarily bureaucratic and draconian policy. In short, Human Resources isn’t being very humane.

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