Babies at Work Policy

Badger has had fifteen successful babies as part of our Babies at Work program. Through hard work and the cooperation of all of Badger’s employees, it has evolved in to a solid program that is good for all.

Check out this video on our Babies at Work program.

The "Babies at Work" program was popularized by author and founder of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute Carla Moquin. Carla is committed to providing resources and education relating to parenting at work programs, and she has been instrumental in helping to develop Badger's approach to this complex issue.

In a New Hampshire Public Radio interview, Carla touched upon one of the most important aspects to the program's success: "These programs need to be treated like any other workplace policy, with clear guidelines. What the companies that have done this have found is that when they have rules in place to anticipate problems, they have very few problems and they can address those on a case-by-case basis." There are logistical challenges, but Carla imparts her experience and a network of over 125 baby-friendly businesses that support and help to bring together a policy that is best for baby, parent, and business.

The Boston Globe also featured Badger's Babies at Work program in their 2016 Top Places to Work issue.

Badger's Baby Policy

Badger co-founders Bill and Katie have been committed to this idea from the very beginning. To begin, Human Resource Coordinator Jay Smeltz contacted Carla Moquin and drafted a "Memo of Understanding," outlining Badger's Babies at Work Policy:

  • Badger is to review the request on a case-by-case basis with the employee, his or her team leader, and the Human Resource department. It is understood that not all departments can make adequate accommodations for babies due to safety concerns, or due to the close proximity to other employees.
  • The duration of the agreement is to last until the child is six months old or until the baby starts crawling, whichever comes first.
  • Badger will pay the parent 30 hours per week during the agreement, leaving 2 hours per day to attend to the child as needed. It is understood that the parent will need to attend to the needs of the child, whether it be feeding, changing, comforting when fussy, or any other issues that may arise during the day. These hours must be tracked appropriately, and the employee, HR representative, and team leader will work together to make an optimal schedule for all involved. An employee can also work from home, where applicable, to make up remaining hours in the normal work week.
  • Parents may use paid time off or unpaid time off to tend to the needs of their family.
  • Babies are to remain with the parent or designated substitute in his/her office, and the parent is responsible for things such as diaper storage and disposal.
  • The parent will designate two voluntary, alternate care givers within the company to attend to the child while the parent is unavailable due to meetings, telephone call, or other event.
  • If there are conflicts or complaints, the parent, team leader, and HR representative will meet immediately to address the problem. Badger reserves the right to terminate the Baby at Work agreement at any time if the conflict cannot be resolved.
  • Safety is the number one concern with a baby on the premises, and the parent agrees to take every precaution to ensure the safety of the baby while at Badger.
  • Necessary communications must be made by the parent and his or her team leader to insure that all deadlines, staff coverage and other needs are adequately met.
  • During the times when the infant is fussy or crying, the parent must make every attempt to minimize the disruption.
  • The parent, team leader, and HR representatives discuss these points at length, and sign off on the appropriate paperwork.

Sarah and her baby Heath

Ryon and his baby Willa

Emily and her baby Eilen

Benefits and Concerns

Badger's experience thus far has been that the benefits far outweigh the concerns or inconveniences.

For the parent and child, the benefits include making breastfeeding easier and allowing for the inherent health benefits for both mother and child, enhanced bonding, lessening of daycare costs and more financial stability, great social network and extended-family support for both parent and child, and an easier transition in to off-site child care.

The benefits for Badger include having the mother back to work sooner (not needing to hire temps), morale-boosting, solidified employee commitment, and creating a whole new style of teamwork for the company. Badger, in a sense, creates its own "village" to support both parent and child.

Of course, there are concerns: concern for other employees’ environments, distraction, and possible favoritism, among others. That’s where Ms. Moquin’s experience and advice comes in handy. Badger approached these concerns head-on with the intention of addressing conflicts and concerns swiftly and decisively. The thought process was that we can try this with both feet on the ground and both eyes open.