GLGA Member Question – Gifts from Vendors

The Great Lakes Graphics Association’s most widely used and insanely popular service is its Member-Ask-a-Member listserv service. Completely anonymous, members are able to ask and answer questions to better understand complex issues, benchmark their business and implement best practices.

I have been asked to create a policy and put in place a practice for employees accepting gifts from vendors (such as luncheons, tickets to professional sports games, presents, etc.).  Can anyone share what your policies or practices are?


No real policy in place.  Obviously, it can’t be allowed to affect decision making as far as choosing a vendor because they give you hockey tickets or something.  As for time off, if it’s lunch or something, that’s not a huge deal, as they likely discuss a little business while out, but as far as leaving work to go ‘have fun’ with a vendor, I think I’d look at that as them needing to use vacation time or something, at least for 90 percent of the time off.

We don’t have a formal policy, but we do share gifts received from vendors, often giving them away in raffles.  For tickets, employees need to go on their own time.  All gifts need to be reported to HR or upper management.

We raffle off to all interested employees the professional sports game tickets.  We send out an email and post in the lunchroom the details of the tickets and all who are interested put their name in and we pull one of those names out of a hat.  We do not allow the same people to win each time.  If everyone in, has already won one, then OK.  It is prohibited that purchasing or others receiving the tickets use them for themselves.  Grounds for termination.

As far as gifts or gift cards or swag that is shipped to you for spending so much $ with Uline etc or given to us from vendors, that is all turned into purchasing and we use that as a giveaway for employees.  We use for Christmas gifts at our Christmas lunch.  We make it so everyone gets something of approx. same value, with a Grand Prize or Two.  We number each package and again pull an employee name for each package and dole them out at the luncheon.

If the event is during work time, we do not charge PTO to the employee.

Employees may not give or receive gifts or favors to or from any customer, vendor, supplier, or competitor – other than a gift of nominal value – without the prior consent of a manager.  In no event shall an employee give or receive a gift in the form of cash.

Entertainment, gifts and gratuities. Employees cannot accept gifts of more than nominal value, (approximately $25.00), from any individual or company who does or wishes to do business with (company) without prior company approval. Also, business courtesies cannot be provided to a customer that may have the appearance or effect of obtaining a competitive advantage.

For something like using tickets approved by the company, we would treat it as a normal business day and pay them (without over-time) and not have to use PTO.


GLGA members may download the complete compilation of answers from the Members Only area of this website.