Are You In Danger of Violating the Holiday Gift-Giving Rules?

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All questions must be answered before you can continue.

Which of the following is the limit on the value of a one-time holiday gift you may accept from a “prohibited source?”

You may accept a gift valued at $20 or less, so long as the total value of gifts from that person does not exceed $50 for the calendar year.

Which of the following items does not count as a gift?

A discount available to the general public falls within the exceptions to gift rules.

You’d like to give your direct supervisor a Christmas present. Which of the following could you give her?

Homemade cookies are OK because food items to share in the office are allowed. For other types of gifts, the item must be worth $10 or less. Cash is not allowed.

You’d like to give your subordinates $30 bottles of wine as a holiday gift. Is this acceptable?

You could make that a $100 bottle if you wanted. There are no restrictions on what you can give to lower-ranking employees.

Your brother-in-law does business with your agency. Are you allowed to accept a gift from him during your family’s annual gift exchange?

There is an exception to the gift rule for “a gift motivated solely by a family relationship or personal friendship.”

All questions must be answered before you can continue.

You’d like to give a gift to a personal friend who works at your agency in a higher-ranking job. Is this OK?

Generally you should not give a gift to anyone who makes more money than you, but there is an exception when a “personal friendship” justifies the gift and you are not in the same supervisory chain of command.

Your colleagues are taking up a collection for a large holiday gift for your direct supervisor, and have asked you for $20. Can you contribute toward this gift?

You are not allowed to contribute toward a group gift for your direct supervisor, unless it is a shared food item.

A contractor doing business with your agency has invited you and some of his other customers to his company’s holiday party. Can you attend?

Since other customers are also invited, this falls under the definition of a “widely attended gathering” and you may attend.

A contractor doing business with your agency has invited you to a small holiday dinner party at her house. May you attend?

This does not count as a “widely attended gathering" so you probably cannot attend, unless you can find another exception to the gift rules that applies to your particular situation.

You have received a $100 basket of fruit and chocolates from a contractor -- well over the allowable price limit on gifts. Is it OK to share it with the rest of your office rather than throw it out or return it to the contractor?

If the item is perishable (flowers also fall in this category), you may share it with your colleagues or donate it to a charity, with approval.