Is it OK to exchange gifts in the workplace?
Take Note Of Your Employer’s Gift Exchange Policy
The holidays are upon us and gift-giving and receiving is inevitable. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit by giving gifts to your boss and co-workers or baking cookies for the office. Many times, a grateful vendor or client will send a “thank you” fruit basket or gift certificate. Sometimes, a supervisor will reward his or her team for a successful year with a bottle of wine or a lunch out of the office.
However, during this time of good cheer, it is important to know if your employer has a gift-giving policy. Some employers have no policy on exchanging gifts in the workplace. Some employers impose monetary limits on the gifts employees can accept from co-workers, vendors or clients. Some employers prohibit employees from giving gifts to their supervisors and vice versa. Some employers require that gifts worth a certain dollar amount be reported. Some employers chose to perform a charitable service or make a charitable donation instead of exchanging or providing gifts.
Although the policies are wide and varied, if your employer choses to employ a policy, it’s likely that it contains some or all of the following guidelines:
- Limits on costs
- Limits on where gifts can be exchanged
- Limits on the value and type of gifts that can be accepted from a vendor or client
- Instructions that the gifts must be appropriate to be exchanged in the workplace
- Instructions that participation is optional
If you have any questions regarding your employer’s gift-giving policy, or if you are an employer interested in drafting such a policy, contact the Law Offices of Damian Christian Shammas, LLC for assistance.