Policy 5     Expenditure Control

Section 5.5          Gifts to Employees

  • Employee cash awards, cash gifts, and gift certificates are always considered taxable income when paid by the employer, per IRS.  Therefore they may not be given by or paid with Foundation funds.  Such payments must be processed via University payroll.
  • Foundation funds may not be spent for recognition of personal events or achievements, such as birthdays, wedding, baby showers, nor may they be spent for charitable donations in lieu of gifts.
  • Sympathy gifts for a death or serious illness or injury of an employee are allowable only with pre-approval of the President or appropriate Vice President.    
  • Gifts of flowers to employees are not reimbursable as business expenses except as noted above, with specific pre-approval of the President or appropriate Vice President. 
  • Individual non-cash gifts to University employees must be items of de minimis value, i.e. $50.00 or less.  The value of non-cash gifts includes sales tax, delivery fees, and other service charges.
  • Gifts for retirement or employee achievement awards after five years of service are exempt from the limitation above, per IRC 274(j)(4) and are restricted to a value of $400 or less.  Retirement and employee achievement awards are allowable only by the Office of Human Resources, as part of a meaningful presentation emphasizing the employee’s achievement.  Service awards cannot be made to part-time employees.  Exceptions may be made with Executive Committee or Presidential approval.