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I have worked here for 13 years, and it started at a small company with about 7 people. In that time it has grown - now to about 100 people. One day our CEO says to us that he has 'partnered' with an investment company, and essentially takes a huge check and checks out leaving us all wondering what the hell is going to happen to us.

Naturally, the investment company wants to move us to a more corporate environment. They have just given us an employee manual which we are all attempting to sort out and understand.

The question is related to child care. Currently, several employees use a remote option (including our Directors) to handle child care because daycares are simply closed and they don't have any other option. No family member who can watch the kid while they work or whatever. It happens a lot - usually around holidays, spring breaks, teacher work days, etc. And, that means it likely happens to a lot of people at the same time.

If we tell them they can't use remote as an option to handle child care - what are they supposed to do? If we make them use their PTO, they'll use it up pretty quickly, and some may not have enough to cover every instance where child care is otherwise not available. I don't have know what to tell my employees, but I know I can't afford to have someone actually 'out' each time that happens; they can't afford to take it unpaid; can this jeopardize their job? I don't know what other companies do in that situation because I haven't been at one so, I have no clue what to do for that. Given the way my first conversation with HR went about relationships, I have hesitated to ask this one because I don't want to out anyone doing this until I can find them an alternative solution.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  • The issue is that remote work wasn't in the new manual at all - they didn't know we offered it. Someone else asked about, said they needed it to manage their kid when daycare was out - and then they indicated it was 'against the law' to do this as they can't be responsible for a minor during their working hours. Still looking into this to be sure, and the reason I haven't outed any of my staff. – Kelly Jun 20 '17 at 13:55
  • I think they were saying like, if your child were to be injured while you were watching them because of your job requiring attention - it could cause some liability issues. I am trying to find stuff online regarding this specifically as it sounds fishy to me as well. – Kelly Jun 20 '17 at 13:59
  • I'm not disagreeing in their policy there, and I understand. It would be hard to work and watch a kid. But, in taking away that option, I'm trying to find something else to work out for employees in that situation. – Kelly Jun 20 '17 at 14:03
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can this jeopardize their job?

If they aren't able to find alternative daycare, and aren't willing to take vacation days/personal days/unpaid time off to deal with it, certainly it could jeopardize their job.

I don't know what other companies do in that situation because I haven't been at one so, I have no clue what to do for that. Given the way my first conversation with HR went about relationships, I have hesitated to ask this one because I don't want to out anyone doing this until I can find them an alternative solution.

Unless there is something specifically in the employee manual prohibiting it, you could permit your team members to do as they have done in the past, until you/they are told to change.

In this case, that's the approach I would take. Don't ask, don't tell.

And that's exactly what I have done in the past when my company was acquired. I assumed the old rules still applied unless I was specifically told that they did not.

Where I worked most recently, the office park had a daycare center adjacent to the parking lot. Most of the businesses arranged a discounted fee for just these types of cases. Seemed to be a handy arrangement.

  • "If they aren't able to find alternative daycare, and aren't willing to take vacation days/personal days/unpaid time off to deal with it, certainly it could jeopardize their job." - it's not unwilling. They are telling us we are not allowed to take unpaid time off. IF we use all of our PTO, then that is it. If we miss three days after our PTO, we can be terminated. We get 2 days PTO and 5 vacation days a year. So, 7 total, but vacation have to be pre-approved. They'd go over it very fast. – Kelly Jun 20 '17 at 13:56
  • Hrm. I don't have kids so, admittedly I don't know what I am looking for. We aren't in like an office park - it's a stand alone building so there isn't anything close by that I'm aware of. That would be a fantastic idea - maybe if I can find something I can see if the company could work out a deal for those cases. – Kelly Jun 20 '17 at 14:04

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