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Gifts Between Employees

Executive branch employees may not make a gift to an official superior nor can an employee accept a gift from another employee who receives less pay except in certain circumstances or on certain occasions.

On an occasional basis, including occasions when gifts are traditionally given or exchanged, the following individual gifts to a supervisor are permitted --

  • gifts other than cash that are valued at no more than $10
  • food and refreshments shared in the office among employees
  • personal hospitality in the employee's home that is the same as that customarily provided to personal friends
  • gifts given in connection with the receipt of personal hospitality that is customary to the occasion, and
  • transferred leave provided that it is not to an immediate superior.

On certain special infrequent occasions a gift may be given that is appropriate to that occasion. These occasions include --

  • events of personal significance such as marriage, illness or the birth or adoption of a child, or
  • occasions that terminate the subordinate-official superior relationship such as retirement, resignation or transfer.

Employees may solicit or contribute, on a strictly voluntary basis, nominal amounts for a group gift to an official superior on special infrequent occasions and occasionally for items such as food and refreshments to be shared among employees at the office. PLEASE NOTE Holidays and birthdays are not considered “special, infrequent occasions”.

Reference: 5 C.F.R. § § 2635.301-304.

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  • Page last reviewed: May 12, 2009
  • Page last updated: May 12, 2009
  • Content source: CDC and ATSDR Ethics Program
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