Gifts for Employees

These non-cash gifts are allowable – value limits don’t include incidental costs (engraving, packaging, sales tax, mailing, gift wrapping):

  • Employee recognition – gifts of tangible personal property of minimal value (flowers, fruit, book, plaque, non-negotiable gift card) or a ticket to a sporting or cultural event (not a season ticket), limited to $75 per individual.  One-month parking permit, limited to $260 per individual.  One-month transit pass, limited to $260 per individual.
  • Length of service achievement – gifts of tangible personal property for recipients who have completed at least five years of service, limited to $400 per individual.
  • Retirement – gifts of tangible personal property awarded as part of a meaningful ceremony, limited to $400 per individual.
  • Sympathy gifts – gifts of tangible personal property (flowers) in the event of the death or major illness of an employee or member of the employee’s family or household, limited to $75 per individual.  Cash contribution to an eligible charitable organization in lieu of tangible personal property, limited to $200 per individual.
  • Prizes and other gifts – raffle and door prizes of non-negotiable gift cards and tangible personal property awarded as incentives for employee participation in an event or completion of a survey or questionnaire, limited to $75 per individual.

Items donated from campus departments are permitted. The cost of promotional gifts such as T-shirt or mug bearing the University logo is limited to $75 per individual. 

If the recipient is both a student and an employee, a determination must be made as to whether the gift is dependent on the individual’s employment relationship with the University. If the gift is not dependent in any fashion on the fact that the student was also employed by UC, the gift will be treated as a non-employee transaction.

  • Cash, except donation to a charity as an expression of sympathy
  • Gift card/certificate for the purchase of services (e.g., spa treatment, golf lessons)
  • Gift card/certificate that can be redeemed for cash or used to reduce an account balance
  • Recreation memberships
  • Season tickets to sporting or cultural events
  • Gifts provided to employees in connection with birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, farewells, graduations and other occasions of a personal nature
  • Cash contributions to any political campaign, political party, committee or group engaged in any attempt to influence the general public with respect to legislative matters, elections, or referendums

Gifts may be purchased with State funds if the purpose is for employee recognition, length of service or retirement. Federal or State funds may not be used for sympathy gifts, cash contributions, raffle prizes, door prizes, or incentive gifts. Various non-State funds controlled by the University (e.g., endowments, gifts, etc.) may be used for employee awards in accordance with UC policy and subject to any restrictions on those funds.


  • Requests for payment or reimbursement of employee non-cash award or sympathy gift expenditures must be submitted on a Bearbuy Payment Request form.
  • All expenses must be supported by original receipts or  by acceptable electronic receipts, including a PDF of the original receipt.
  • Include name of recipient and description of gift.
  • Provide approval from Department head.