Work Rules

Many rules are already in place in the form of policies, contracts, procedures, regulations, laws, and mandates. These rules determine the actions of the University, departments, and employees, and actions to be taken by you as a supervisor. Work rules may be needed for direct guidance for employees, covering their day-to-day responsibilities outside specific, work-related performance standards for their position. If you are establishing new work rules or changing existing work rules, the Labor Relations Unit in Human Resources must notify the appropriate exclusive representative, such as AFSCME.

Establishing Work Rules

Work rules should be:

  • Necessary. Is there a need for clearly defined, written work rules?
  • Reasonable. Rules should make supervision easier.
  • In compliance with existing policy, contracts, and laws.
  • Beneficial to your employees as they conduct the department's business.
  • Clear. There should be no question about the intent of the language.
  • Enforceable. Be willing to enforce the work rules after they are established.
  • Publicized. Posted on departmental bulletin boards, covered in staff meetings, distributed to each employee, and made part of an employee's orientation and information packet.

The Rules of Work Rules

Follow these guidelines to make your work rules as effective as possible:

  • DO. Write for a specific job category or location such as service, clerical, front desk, grounds.
  • DO. Consult with your Employee Relations Consultant so you get off on the right track.
  • DO. Write rules that are practical for you to monitor.
  • DO. Make sure you are willing to apply them evenly to ALL employees in the job category.
  • DO. Be prepared to provide oral communications to employees who may have reading or language difficulties.
  • DO. Review after contract negotiations or policy revisions to ensure rules comply with the contract or policy.
  • DON'T. Repeat a law, policy, or contract.
  • DON'T. Violate a law, policy, or contract.
  • DON'T. Include performance standards in work rules.
  • DON'T. Use wording that is vague.
  • DON'T. Institute verbal work rules.
  • DON'T. Phase in rules after they are issued; start enforcing them on the effective date.

Sample Department Work Rules

Proper Notice for Sick Leave: Employees must call their immediate supervisor or designated contact within thirty minutes of their beginning work time if they will be absent due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances. Exceptions to this rule will be considered on an individual basis.

Use of Department Vehicle: Employees must have a valid California driver's license, must be on department business, and should reserve the car at least one day in advance. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. The employee is responsible for obeying traffic regulations.

Break Periods: Breaks should be taken at the work site in predesignated areas. Employees who wish to leave the work site must receive permission from their immediate supervisor or manager.

Equipment, Supplies, and other University Property: No department supplies and equipment are to be taken out of the building for personal use. Abuse, misuse, or theft of supplies or equipment, or defacement or abuse of University property will result in disciplinary and/or legal action.