OLYMPIA, Wash. — More Washington state employees are bringing their babies to work.
The state’s "Infant to Work" program started as a pilot program in 2015 with a handful of parents who could bring their babies to work at the Washington State Department of Health.
Since then, 95 Department of Health employees have taken part.
Today, nearly 20 state agencies and commissions participate and the Health Care Authority recently expanded the program to allow babies up to nine months.
"I love it," said Department of Social and Health Services employee Erika Hurley.
Her 4-month-old son Hendrix naps in a crib next to her desk at DSHS’ Lacey office.
She said bringing him into the office makes her a more productive worker.
“I came back to work a month earlier than I would have so I could get back to my job, do what I love, and still be a mom,” said Hurley.
State Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz implemented the policy at the Department of Natural Resources when she was sworn into office in 2017.
She said it’s a policy that benefits the employee, the baby, and state taxpayers.
“While babies are challenging, they’re also very easy to manage,” said Franz. “When we actually bring them into the workplace, we find productivity actually goes up.”