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Seasonal smarts

Remember ethics rules for holiday gifts

Do you know the rules for exchanging holiday gifts in USPS workplaces?

The USPS Ethics Office wants employees to remember that complying with the organization’s rules on giving and receiving gifts is especially important during the holidays.

The Ethics Office Blue page has a presentation to help employees become familiar with the rules, which are known as the standards of ethical conduct.

The presentation includes the standards that apply to receiving and exchanging gifts between employees and outside sources, including customers, contractors, contract employees and vendors.

Under the guidelines, coffee, soda, doughnuts, cookies, non-alcoholic drinks and other refreshments aren’t considered gifts unless they are part of a meal. Also, if a vendor sends chocolates, a cheese platter, coffee or other treats to a facility, these items are considered a gift.

The guidelines prohibit employees from directly or indirectly soliciting or accepting gifts from a customer or supplier.

There are also guidelines for attending holiday parties hosted by outside organizations.

In addition to the presentation, the Ethics Office has prepared a Q&A document with additional guidance for employees.

For more information, email the Ethics Office at or call its hotline at 202-268-6346.

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