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Brave New Policy: Babies In the Office
 

Would you let a new mom bring her baby to work?
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The Idea

Francine Gemperle, a product designer at Maya Design in Pittsburgh, wanted to return to work soon after giving birth. Could she bring her six-week-old baby, Milo, to the office with her regularly?

What Other Employers Do

A Maya executive researched babies-at-work policies and found none. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that just 6 percent of employers offer on-site child care, let alone infant care.

The Pros

Retaining a key staffer; bolstering the company's worker-friendly, pro-mom reputation

The Cons

Maya's lawyers were apoplectic over liability concerns; fears of a crying baby interrupting meetings and irritating co-workers

The Decision

CEO Mick McManus allowed Milo to come to work until he reached 6 months, when he would be mobile enough to cause trouble. Maya's lawyers insisted that Gemperle sign a release saying that she wouldn't sue the firm in the event Milo was hurt.

The Outcome: Good.

Gemperle brought Milo to work three or four days a week. She hired a sitter when she had client meetings, and took Milo to a break room when he fussed. Other staffers are now expecting and plan to bring their kids to work too.

Last updated: Jul 1, 2006




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