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Topic: rules re. gifts to mail carriers

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Subject: rules re. gifts to mail carriers
Date Posted: 11/6/2012 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,405
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I'm hoping one of our mems affiliated with the USPS can give me some guidance.

I know there are rules regarding what sorts of gifts mail carriers are allowed to accept, but I can't seem to find the info at the USPS website.  I want to give him something like a giftcard and I recall there being a monetary limit.

Does anyone have up to date info on this?

Date Posted: 11/6/2012 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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and direct from usps:


Last Edited on: 11/6/12 8:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/6/2012 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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While many Postal Service™ customers have traditionally thanked their mail carrier with gifts of cash during the holiday season, this practice puts our employees at risk of violating federal law.  The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch ("Standards"), specifies that Postal Service employees may not accept gifts from outside sources (including Postal Service customers) or gifts given to them because of their official positions. Postal Service employees are also prohibited from soliciting gifts from outside sources.

There are a number of exceptions and exclusions to the general gifts rule . Postal Service employees may accept the following items:

  • Snacks and beverages that are not offered as part of a meal.
  • Items with little intrinsic value (i.e., greeting cards, plaques, pens, coffee mugs, etc.).
  • Perishable items (i.e., flowers, chocolates, cookies, etc.); if the items are clearly worth more than $20, employees should share them with others in the Postal Service workplace.
  • Items with a market (retail) value of $20 or less.
  • Gifts motivated solely because of a personal relationship.
  • Gifts for which the employee has paid market (retail) value.
  • Gifts paid for by the Postal Service.

Postal Service employees may not accept cash  - in any amount or form (bills, checks, money orders) - from an outside source.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Postal Service® Law Department's Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346, or send an email message to ethics.help@usps.gov.

Date Posted: 11/6/2012 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've taken cookies into my local PO branch, they were very appreciative!

Date Posted: 12/15/2012 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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We always do a fruit basket and some baked goodies this time of year for our postal lady, UPS driver and Fedex driver. We are friends with them and they enjoy the goodies. Never been told they couldn't accept it and never had a problem. We had thought about doing a gift card or cash but the basket makes a nice personal touch. 

Date Posted: 12/16/2012 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I believe that they can accept also gift cards valued at $20 or less.

Date Posted: 12/17/2012 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2006
Posts: 3,359
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I've been doing Christmas cookies in a nice tin for the past few years.

Subject: fangrrl
Date Posted: 12/21/2012 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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I've taken cookies into my local PO branch, they were very appreciative! 


You rock ! ! !  smiley

Date Posted: 12/23/2012 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 866
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I don't normally give anything to the mailman, but he's been really good to us the last couple of years. Carrying things to me, so I didn't have to get out of my hammock when I was resting, telling us not to be in a hurry to replace our mailbox when it got knocked down. He has urged me to come to the Survivor's Dinner they have before the Relay for Life. One day, he stood on the porch, put his arms around me and prayed over my bald self.

We're spread pretty thin, but I wanted to at least meet the $20 limit. Was gonna get some fancy chocolates and DH said, "What if he's diabetic?" Ugh!  So, I went to Books-A-Million and found a really nice travel mug. I filled it with Hershey's Miniatures and added a $5 gift card from Dairy Queen. I wrapped it up, waited til  I saw him coming down a nearby hill (wanted to make sure it was him and not a substitute) and then went and stuck it in the mailbox and put the flag up. I peeked out the window and was really blessed by the smile on his face when he opened up the box and saw what was inside. smiley

Date Posted: 12/27/2012 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,848
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We gave our mail carrier a $10 gift card in a holiday greeting card as a holiday/thank you gift (DH and I receive LOTS of packages).  In yesterday's mail we received a USPS poscard with a printed thank you message; our carrier added a hand-written note as well.  Very thoughtful and appreciated.

Date Posted: 12/27/2012 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 771
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We usually give our carrier a gift card for a pound of See's Candy (a local fav) which costs just under $20. We have a really big mail box, but our carrier is always dragging stuff that doesn't fit in the box down our quarter mile long gravel driveway, while our dogs bark maniacally. She is very good natured gal!