Q. Are there any legal issues regarding employee gift-giving during the holidays? What about giving or getting gifts from vendors?
A. You need to be careful to comply with any relevant conflict-of-interest policies or codes of ethics—whether they are yours, your vendors’ or your customers’.
Also, there may be a tax consequence for employees, depending on the value of the gift. For example, you don’t need to include in an employee’s income any gifts of nominal value, such as a holiday turkey. But gifts of cash, a gift certificate or a similar item that can be easily exchanged for cash could be considered additional wages to the employee.
Finally, as with any practice, you should treat employees consistently when giving holiday gifts.