The USPS Ethics and Legal Compliance Office has published the latest edition of its annual Holiday Ethics Guide to help employees comply with regulations.
The publication explains certain guidelines that apply to receiving gifts from outside sources:
• Employees may never accept a cash or cash equivalent gift from an outside source.
• Soliciting a gift is always prohibited.
• Employees may accept an unsolicited noncash gift, valued at less than $20. However, the total value of gifts received from the same outside source may not exceed $50 per calendar year.
• Employees may also accept a gift if it is clear the gift was given because of a family, personal or outside business relationship and not the employee’s postal position.
The guide also explains there are separate rules for gifts exchanged between postal employees:
• For regularly occurring occasions, such as holidays, an employee may only give a superior or higher-paid employee a noncash gift valued at $10 or less.
• Group gifts are permitted for certain special, infrequent occasions of personal significance, but not for regularly occurring events.
• Secret gift exchanges may be held if the gifts are noncash and cost $10 or less. Participation must be voluntary.
• Office potlucks are permitted if participation and contributions are voluntary.
Employees who have questions should email the USPS Ethics and Legal Compliance Office or call the ethics hotline at 202-268-6346.