Administrative Guidelines

Administrative Guidelines for the Career Service

This document describes the various policies which apply to Pierce County employees. Bold text in the Guidelines document is codified as part of the Pierce County Code.
Examples of topics included are:
  • Benefits and leaves
  • Code of ethics
  • Domestic violence policy
  • Drug free workplace policy
  • Transfers, layoffs, and resignation


Most non-executive branch departments, including Superior Court, District Court, Juvenile Court, the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and the County Council have separate guidelines and policies which apply specifically to employees of the department.

Recent Changes to the Administrative Guidelines for the Career Service
On December 13, 2016, the Pierce County Council passed Ordinance 2016-84, which caused the current changes to the Administrative Guidelines for the Career Service to become effective on December 29, 2016.

Prior to approval by the County Council, these changes were reviewed by department directors and union representatives. These changes are a result of recent changes in law as well as other changes that update and clarify guideline language.

The most recent changes are summarized as follows:

3.08 Definitions
Clarification of Limited Duration employee benefits eligibility.

3.13 Domestic Violence In The Workplace
Clarification of County policy; incorporates State law language regarding employee rights and responsibilities.

3.14 Whistleblower Protection
Clarification of County policy.

3.15 Workplace Safety And Violence Prevention
Updated language regarding employee responsibilities.

3.16 Equal Employment Opportunity
Changes bring County policy language in line with State and Federal law.

3.28 Certification And Appointment
A minor grammatical error was corrected.

3.52 Working Conditions
Clarifies when a conflict of interest is presumed to exist.

3.67 Family And Medical Leave
Clarifies and brings County policy in line with Federal and State law regarding family leave.

3.68 Sick Leave
Removed effective date of Code change.

3.69 Humanitarian Catastrophic Leave Bank
The changes clarify eligibility and allow for a maximum of 60 days (up to 480 hours) of Humanitarian Catastrophic Leave.

3.70 Shared Sick Leave Program
Increases the length of time donated sick leave can be used from 60 calendar days to within six months.

3.72 Vacation Leave
Changes accommodate the implementation and use of Workday processes regarding vacation leave.

3.76 Leave Of Absence With Pay
Change clarifies that probationary employees may use sick leave for up to three additional days for out-of-state travel for bereavement purposes.

3.80 Leave Of Absence Without Pay
Changes bring the County policy language in line with State law language allowing Domestic Violence Leave and unpaid Faith and Conscience Leave.

3.81 Military Service
Changes bring the County policy language in line with State law regarding paid Military Leave.

Recent non-Code Changes to the Administrative Guidelines for the Career Service
Recent changes to selected chapters and sections of the Administrative Guidelines for the Career Service that are not part of the Pierce County Code were reviewed by union representatives and a work group of department directors.

The updated chapters and/or sections are as follows:

Section 3.20.31 Re-Entry into the Career Service

Chapter 3.22 Recruitment And Application

Section 3.24.030 Examinations

Section 3.24.040 Candidate Selection and Background Check

Section 3.28.030 General Provisions for Appointment

Section 3.28.040 Appointment Procedure

Section 3.28.050 Provisional Appointment

Section 2.38.060 Extra Hire/Limited Duration Appointment

Section 3.36.060 Periodic Increment Date