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It's Official: Federal Employees Cannot Sleep in Their Offices

GSA issues new policy after receiving questions from agencies about permissibility of office snoozing.

The federal government would like to remind its employees their offices are for working, not sleeping. 

In a Federal Register notice that will publish Tuesday, the General Services Administration will notify employees that sleeping in government buildings is prohibited. GSA carved out certain exceptions, such as when authorized by a supervisor to conduct official business and it is “necessary for the person to sleep on the premises” or in a shelter-in-place emergency. 

The Office of Governmentwide Policy at GSA said it is issuing the notice due to questions it received “regarding the permissibility of sleeping in federal buildings.” Current statute and regulations do not specifically ban snoozing at the office, GSA explained, and agency officials have instead relied on laws and rules that address workplace hazards and the need to comply with federal police to “prohibit the practice of unofficially sleeping in federal buildings.”

“GSA is issuing this bulletin to reaffirm the fact that all persons are prohibited from sleeping in federal buildings, except when such activity is expressly authorized by an agency official,” the agency said. 

Going forward, GSA noted, facility managers in all federal buildings will place the sleeping ban notice “in a conspicuous place” so all employees are aware of the notice.