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There are numerous rules and regulations with which government workers must comply. Some of these rules are obvious and widely understood. Others are more obscure, even for employers and employees who seem to eat, sleep and breathe government work. 

But no matter how insignificant or unusual a rule may seem, it is important to follow it. For instance, government workers should know that certain activities are prohibited in federal government buildings. This includes sleeping.

The ban on sleeping

Recently, the Office of Governmentwide Policy at the General Services Administration issued a bulletin reiterating that federal employees cannot sleep in government buildings. 

The ban on sleeping is not a new rule, but it is also not specifically addressed under current regulations. As a result, there has evidently been some confusion over whether sleeping in government buildings is actually a prohibited activity.

The bulletin from the GSA aims to clarify the matter. The GSA has also directed facility managers to post notice of the ban in a highly visible place in government buildings. 

Exceptions to this rule

As is the case with many rules, there are exceptions to this one.

Employees can sleep in a federal government building if they have permission from a supervisor. So too can authorized workers who are conducting official business and sleeping on site becomes necessary. Workers may also sleep in a government building if there is an emergency and people must take shelter in place.

There are also exceptions for workers in the legislative branch.

Complying with rules and regulations

It may seem like enforcing a ban on sleeping in government buildings is unnecessary. However, this rule is in place for various reasons, including to maintain safe workplaces.

Even if you do not agree with rules like this or you feel like a certain policy is insignificant, the fact is that there can be very real consequences for violations. You could face financial, professional and possibly criminal penalties for violating government regulations. As such, it is important to be aware of the rules and comply with them.

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