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Ethics answers.

Q: A co-worker asked if I would contribute $15 toward a group holiday gift card for our supervisor from her favorite coffee shop. Is this ok?

A: No. Under the ethics rules, an employee may solicit voluntary contributions of nominal amounts from fellow employees for an appropriate gift to an official superior only on special, infrequent occasions. This is also permissible on an occasional basis for items such as food and refreshments to be shared in the office. However, holidays and birthdays are not considered special, infrequent Dccasions under the ethics rules, and this gift is not for food or refreshments to be shared in the office, so your co-worker may not solicit the gift you've described, nor could you contribute to it.

Ethics Answers presents hypothetical ethical scenarios Department employees might face. For help with real ethics questions, email

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Publication:State Magazine
Date:Dec 1, 2014
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