King County to implement a pilot "Infants at Work" program

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bring your baby to work
at King county
King County employees may soon have the opportunity to bring their babies to work, after Monday’s action by the Metropolitan King County Council requesting that the Executive implement a pilot “Infants at Work” program.

“We know there are long-term health benefits for both parents and kids when they have more time to bond in the first 6 months,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski, who sponsored the motion. 
“An Infants at Work program is the right thing to do for our employees, since it also gives families more financial stability and flexibility at a time when childcare costs continue to rise. I’m excited we’re taking another positive step towards making King County a family-friendly workplace.”

Infants at Work (IAW) programs are structured to allow eligible employees the opportunity to bring their new infants to work for a limited period of time. A growing number of employers have implemented this program, and in 2015, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) adopted an IAW policy to allow employees to bring their infant, ages 6 weeks to 6 months, to work.

Sarah Reyneveld, Chair of the King County Women's Advisory Board said “This program is one that will benefit women, infants, and working families in King County as it will further diminish the wage gap and gender inequity in the workplace by allowing more women the opportunity to bond with their infants while maintaining continuity at work, improve infant health and development, and reduce the cost burden of child care on working families.”

The motion adopted by the Council requests the Executive to develop a plan to implement a pilot program allowing eligible employees to bring their new infants to work. The plan should include:

· Eligibility requirements;

· A description of any workplace environment considerations, such as safety guidelines, facility requirements, and recommended operational practices to ensure the adequate care of the infant, adequate workplace hygiene and continued employee productivity;

· Policies and procedures for events when an infant is disruptive to the work environment for a prolonged period of time; and

· A timeline for implementing the pilot program, including the duration and beginning and end dates, and the scope of employee groups to participate.”

The motion requests that the plan, along with any legislation necessary for implementation, be transmitted to King County Council by August 15, 2018.


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