MEDIA
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Zell's New Tribune Employee Handbook: "Coming To Work Drunk Is Bad Judgment"

How much should a company's culture reflect its chief executive, especially one who prides himself on being a blunt and innovative -- some might say abrasive -- businessman?

If you're new Tribune Co. CEO Sam Zell, the answer seems to be: A lot. At least that was the feeling workers got Wednesday with the distribution of a new employee handbook, a document that's nothing like the mind-numbing, lawyered gobbledygook in most corporate manuals. Consider the opening:

"Rule #1: Use your best judgment."

"Rule #2: See Rule 1."

In an e-mail to employees, Zell -- who took over the parent of the Los Angeles Times last month after taking the company private -- described the handbook as shorter and more direct than its turgid predecessor, reflecting trust "in your judgment, and in each other."

Example rules:

* "7.1. If you use or abuse alcohol or drugs and fail to perform the duties required by your job acceptably, you are likely to be terminated. See Rule 1. Coming to work drunk is bad judgment."

* "7.2. If you do not use or abuse alcohol or drugs and fail to perform the duties required by your job acceptably, you are likely to be terminated."

Keep reading (registration required).

View the entire employee handbook here (links to PDF).