Children and Minors in the Workplace
University Policy Number 2228
Categorized: Human Resources and Payroll
Responsible Office: Human Resources and Payroll
Related Law & Policy:
This policy applies to all George Mason University employees.
II. POLICY STATEMENT
While Mason is very oriented toward flexibility and work/life integration, the safety and well-being of all faculty, staff, and visitors is of utmost importance. The worksite is not necessarily designed for children, and can pose safety hazards for them. Further, children and minors at the worksite can distract employees from their primary duties. Accordingly:
- The workplace may not be used in lieu of childcare. Children, therefore, are generally not permitted to be at any worksite during an employee’s working hours unless an exception has been arranged with the employee’s supervisor and/or department head. Please see the Policy’s procedures document for additional explanation and resources.
- Brief visits to the worksite by children may be permitted with prior approval of the employee’s supervisor, at the supervisor’s sole discretion. In such a case, children are the sole responsibility of the employee while at the worksite, and the employee shall be personally responsible for the safety of the child and any harm caused by or to them. Children who have a potentially contagious illness shall not be brought to the worksite under any circumstances.
- Unless they are an enrolled student or under constant supervision of a university employee and part of an approved university program (e.g., approved volunteer, educational program), or over the age of 16 working at Mason as an employee of the institution in a supervised capacity, minors shall not be permitted in any potentially hazardous area, or in any area deemed hazardous by Safety, Emergency, & Enterprise Risk Management, to include but not limited to:
a) Power plants, facility shops, scene shops, mechanical rooms, confined spaces, or commercial food preparation areas;
b) Any area, indoors or out, containing operational power tools or machinery;
c) Laboratories or specialized work areas that may contain chemicals, biological hazards, radioactive hazards, flammables, explosives, compressed gasses, sharp objects, lasers, research animals, hazardous wastes or other environmental hazards– the EHS Volunteers and Minors in the Laboratory Guide outlines the process for authorizing laboratory activities for minors, which includes a risk assessment of the work to be conducted and completing a release form for each participant;
d) Any other high-risk areas (rooftops, construction zones, etc.).
- This Policy does not prohibit children and other family members from being at the worksite during university-sponsored events intended for children and/or families or in other limited situations as outlined in the policy’s procedures document.
Children: any minor children of an employee, or minor children under the care or custody of an employee.
Minor: any person under the age of 18.
Employee: an individual who works for the University full-time or part-time, and who is paid through the University’s payroll system.
Worksite: any location on George Mason University-owned or -controlled property where job functions are performed.
Specific responsibilities for oversight and management are detailed throughout the policy. Human Resources & Payroll will provide the official interpretation of this policy for purposes of administration.
V. EFFECTIVE DATE
This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President and Provost.
VI. FREQUENCY OF REVIEW
This policy shall be reviewed by Human Resources and Payroll every three years, or more frequently as needed.
Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President
Peter N. Stearns
Date approved: July 30, 2012
Revised: February 7, 2013
Revised: July 29, 2017