Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy

All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.

Right there, in black-and-white, on the United States Postal Service website, is the official stance on whether or not your local postal worker can take a tip at the holidays.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Frankly, I think that's stupid. If I want to throw some cash or a gift card to my mail carrier, who's going to stop me? It's my money! The government takes enough of it, why won't they let me give it to a government employee directly?

I worked at a few jobs that prohibited tipping, but there were still people that would slip me a buck or two. I would politely decline at first, then if the person insisted, I would accept it. Who's going to turn down money?

Just because the boss says employees aren't allowed to take tips doesn't really mean you can't leave a little something extra at the mailbox. Tip at your own discretion, if you think someone deserves it, go for it.

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