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Gifts Between Employees




Happy Birthday and Retirement and
Congratulations on the Wedding, and...

Thinking about giving a gift to someone in your office?  Have you ever wondered if accepting that gift was the right thing to do?  As a Federal Government employee, you have been placed in a position of trust and are held to a high standard of ethical conduct.  For more information on the ethics laws regarding gift acceptance, please contact your agency's ethics office.  READ BELOW...

DON'T DO THIS!

The Big Boss was retiring and his second-in-command called the secretary to ask her to set up a retirement party.  He directed her to send a memo to the staff advising them of what they were expected to contribute.  She was assigned paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, and a paper tablecloth.  Everyone, including the secretary, was expected to contribute $25 for food and gifts.  To the surprise of no one, the second-in-command was selected as the new Big Boss.  His new branch chief called the secretary to have her set up a "promotion" party.  The branch chief's memo to the staff advised them of what they were expected to contribute.  For the secretary, it was once again paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils and paper tablecloth.  Everyone, including the secretary, was again expected to contribute $25 for food and gifts.  To no one's surprise, the branch chief was selected as the new second-in-command.  Her senior analyst called the secretary and asked her to set up a "promotion" party...the secretary contacted the Ethics Office instead, where disciplinary action was initiated.

Subpart C of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executed Branch (5 C.F.R. § 2635) establishes the rules for gifts between employees.  In general, an employee may not give a gift or make a donation to a gift to a superior except in limited situations.  Additionally, subordinates must volunteer to donate not be told to donate money, party supplies or food for a gift to a superior.