The State Worker

Babies at work? California state workers could bring them under new proposal

California State workers would be able to bring their babies to work under a proposal from Assemblyman Randy Voepel, R-San Diego County.

Voepel’s legislation would create a pilot program authorizing state departments to let new parents or caregivers bring babies to work starting at six weeks old. The infants would be allowed in the workplace until they reach six months old or until they begin to crawl, according to the proposal.

The pilot program would be voluntary for state agencies and would run from January 2020 through January 2022.

“If the infant doesn’t fit in, the supervisor can say, ‘it’s not working, we’re not doing it anymore since it’s a pilot program,’” Voepel said.

He said the idea stems from his 39-year career as an insurance broker in the private sector, where employees would often bring babies to work.

“The whole office ends up adopting the child,” he said.

A fact sheet for the proposal, Assembly Bill 372, cites as support the high cost of child care in California and the benefits of building a bond with a newborn.

Voepel said he doesn’t believe the proposal would cost the state anything. When he first introduced the bill last session, it cleared the Assembly but didn’t make it through Senate committee hearings.