What should we do about gifts from vendors?

Q. Sometimes our vendors provide modest gifts for our employees. How should we handle these?

A. First decide whether you will allow employees to accept gifts at all. Allowing employees to accept such gifts can give the impression that contracts for goods or services are awarded on a basis other than economics or merit.

In recent years many companies have adopted strong ethics rules that prohibit any vendor or customer gifts to employees, set limits on gift values (for example, nothing over $100) or require employees to report all gifts.

If gifts from vendors or customers are allowed, it is best to require delivery to the workplace rather than to employees’ homes. If you prohibit employees from personally accepting such gifts, you may suggest donating any incoming gifts to charity.