Guidance on receipt of gifts

Throughout the year, and notably during the holiday season, the Alabama Ethics Law restricts items UAB employees may receive from vendors or business partners. 

 


Guidance for receipt of gifts under the Alabama Ethics Law

Throughout the year, and notably during the holiday season, it is important for UAB employees to remember that Alabama law restricts items they may receive from vendors.  As public employees with expectations of appropriate stewardship, UAB employees may not use their position to reap private gains or receive special benefits as a result of purchase decisions.  This includes accepting for personal use promotional rebates on supplies purchased for UAB purposes.  However, items of de minimis value – such as greeting cards, plaques or other items intended solely for presentation, promotional items commonly distributed to the general public, and items that have no resale value or value to others – are permissible under state law.  Before you accept a personal gift from a business partner, determine whether it is allowed by state ethics law and whether your school or unit has a specific policy that places additional restrictions on receipt of gifts (e.g., School of Medicine Guidelines for Relationships with Industry limiting all promotional gifts without regard to de minimis value).  If not, consider declining it, returning it to the donor, paying the donor market value for it, or giving it to an appropriate charity through the UAB Development Office.  For more information, visit the Alabama Ethics Law page.