Stuart M. Gerson, a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Health Care & Life Sciences practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, and New York offices, was quoted in Society for Human Resource Management, in “Gift Policies Becoming More Stringent,” by Allen Smith.

Following is an excerpt:

Ethics policies that limit employees’ receipt of gifts are becoming “stricter and stricter,” according to Stuart Gerson, an attorney with Epstein Becker & Green in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

A lot of policies are now saying employees “can’t take anything at all, even a tchotchke or pen,” he told SHRM Online.

Employers in the private and public sectors alike bar more substantial presents as well to all employees, not just to governors and other public officials.

Gerson said he has overseen a pharmaceutical company’s dismissal of an employee who received a football autographed by an NFL team that was of “substantial worth.” The football was given to “curry favor” with the employee.

“You can’t serve two masters is good advice,” Gerson remarked. …

Gerson noted that gifts in a health care setting may violate federal anti-kickback statutes and give rise to civil or criminal liability. 

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