2-156-143  Employee-to-employee gifts.
   (a)   For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
   “Official superior” means any employee, including but not limited to an immediate supervisor, whose official responsibilities include directing or evaluating the performance of other employees' official duties or those of any other supervisor of the employee. For purposes of this section, the term “official superior” shall also include the Mayor. Additionally, for purposes of this section, an employee is considered to be the subordinate of any of his official superiors.
   “Solicit” means to request contributions by personal communication or by general announcement.
   “Voluntary contribution” means a contribution given freely, without pressure or coercion. A contribution is not voluntary unless it is made in an amount determined by the contributing employee, except that where an amount for a gift is included in the cost for a luncheon, reception or similar event, an employee who freely chooses to pay a proportionate share of the total cost in order to attend such event shall be deemed to have made a voluntary contribution.
   (b)   Except as provided in this section, an employee shall not (i) give a gift to or make a donation towards a gift for an official superior; or (ii) solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to either his own or the other employee's official superior.
   (c)   Except as provided in this section, an employee shall not accept a gift from an employee receiving less pay than himself unless: (i) the two employees are not in a subordinate-official superior relationship; and (ii) there is a personal relationship between the two employees that would justify the gift.
   (d)   The restriction in subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to the following:
      (1)   On an occasional basis, including any occasion on which gifts are traditionally given or exchanged such as birthdays or holidays, the following may be given to an official superior or accepted from a subordinate or other employee receiving less pay:
         (i)   Items, other than cash but including gift cards, with an aggregate market value of $10.00 or less per occasion;
         (ii)   Items such as food and refreshments to be shared in the office among several employees;
         (iii)   Personal hospitality provided at a residence which is of a type and value customarily provided by the employee to personal friends; or
         (iv)   Items given in connection with the receipt of personal hospitality if of a type and value customarily given on such occasions.
      (2)   A gift appropriate to the occasion may be given to an official superior or accepted from a subordinate or other employee receiving less pay:
         (i)   In recognition of infrequently occurring occasions of personal significance such as marriage, illness, or the birth or adoption of a child; or
         (ii)   Upon occasions that terminate a subordinate-official superior relationship, such as retirement, resignation, or transfer.
      (3)   An employee may solicit a voluntary contribution of no more than $20.00 from a fellow employee for an appropriate gift to an official superior and an employee may make a voluntary contribution of $20.00 or less to an appropriate gift to an official superior:
         (i)   On a special, infrequent occasion as described in subsection (d)(2) of this section; or
         (ii)   On an occasional basis, for items such as food and refreshments to be shared in the office among several employees.
      An employee may accept such gifts to which a subordinate or other employee receiving less pay than himself has contributed.
   (e)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an official superior shall not coerce a gift from a subordinate.
(Added Coun. J. 7-25-12, p. 31123, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-29-15, p. 3567, § 1)