'Infants At Work' Policy Up and Coming in Businesses

A new work policy being implemented in about 200 offices around the country is providing the ultimate convenience for new parents: allowing them to take their infants to work.


This innovative ‘Infants At Work’ policy allows new parents to bring their infants (aged from six weeks to six months old) to the office with them.

One company who just implemented the policy this summer is the Washington State Department of Health. According to the company’s press release regarding the policy, “The state Department of Health has a new ‘Infants at Work Policy’ based on the long term health value of breastfeeding newborns and infant/parent bonding.”

Marissa VanHoozer, an employee with the company, benefited greatly from the policy. “My husband and I had moved here from Hawaii where we served in the army and I was a new state employee,” she explained. “I had maybe enough leave to get through my prenatal appointments but after that, I knew we’d be down to one income until I felt comfortable enough to return to work.”

According to VanHoozer, her colleagues were incredibly supportive of her having her son, Gavin, with her at work. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “I don’t think I had a single complaint during the entire time that Gavin was here.”

There are, however, potential drawbacks to such a program, as pointed out by Bob Kelleher, CEO of the Employee Engagement Group. The obvious problem would be, Kelleher noted, what happens when the baby becomes disruptive.

“If I’m working side by side with you and you have a child, and the child starts crying and you have to stand up and take the child someplace else,” Kelleher said, “that’s going to disrupt my flow at that moment.”

Kelleher also cited concerns about other employees being expected to pick up any potential slack if a parent becomes held up with their child.

Acknowledging the benefits of such a program, though, Kelleher said, “In the right organization, in the right culture, it can be a very positive tool.”

However, Carla Moquin, founder of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute, believes this could be effective in all companies.

“We would love to see this take off in most organizations because it does work,” she said. “It could help so many more families than people realize.”

In order for the policy to work successfully and not have a negative impact on other employees Moquin shared with TODAY rules companies should consider when formulating their own policies:

Babies cannot be disruptive

The program is limited to babies who can’t yet crawl

Everybody still needs to get their work done

Parents need to pre-plan for back-up care

There should be a baby-free zone in place

While it may be a difficult policy to implement, companies would benefit from it as well due to higher retention rates. As reported by DiversityInc, one of the top ways to retain high potential employees, female Millennials and female employees overall is by providing a flexible workplace environment. If executed correctly, this policy could prove to not only allow new parents to balance their work and home lives but improve employee satisfaction as well.

Latest News

Novartis Chief Medical Officer John Tsai on Balancing Medical Innovations With Patient Needs

Originally published at novartis.com by Elizabeth Dougherty. John Tsai is Novartis’ Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. Novartis Pharmaceuticals is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   John Tsai’s career as a physician, and now as Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer for Novartis, had an unlikely…

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed

City of Montgomery, Alabama Faces $25,000 State Fine for Changing Street Named After a Confederate Leader

Despite a state law designed to “protect” longstanding Confederate monuments and memorials, the city of Montgomery, Alabama, has decided that it would rather incur a fine than continue going on with a city street named after President of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865, Jefferson Davis. Kim Chandler of…

Global Diversity

Despite Massive Uptick in Global DEI Initiatives, New Study Reveals Real Change in Corporate Workforces Remains Slow 

Even though DEI as a business imperative continues to grow both in the United States and around the world, a new study has found that many business leaders and executives have merely raised awareness of why diversity, equity and inclusion is important — as opposed to actually making meaningful progress…

Novartis Collaborates With Microsoft To Innovate Medicine Through Data and Artificial Intelligence

Originally published on LinkedIn. Novartis Pharmaceuticals is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   “We are not just discoverers. We actually create molecules that have never been made before.” Says Karin Briner, Head of Global Discovery Chemistry at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). By collaborating with Microsoft and augmenting the expertise of our…

Mastercard Announces Launch of Crescent City Card Program in Partnership With New Orleans and MoCaFi

Originally published at mastercard.com. Mastercard ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell was joined by executives from Mastercard, Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (MoCaFi), and Forward Together New Orleans to announce the Crescent City Card Program. The program involves a…

Mastercard on Supporting Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Development by Expanding Its ‘City Possible’ Network

Originally published at mastercard.com. Mastercard ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Mastercard has continued to expand its support for addressing urban challenges and inequalities, working with city leaders and partners around the world, through the City Possible™ network and capabilities. The unique solutions…