‘Tis the season of giving. And getting. In trouble. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
A Chicago company working on Philadelphia’s train station renovation was reprimanded after a 2018 investigation showed that the company gave holiday gift baskets to Amtrak supervisors. The company promised it wouldn’t do it again—but it’s now under investigation for bribery for providing concert tickets, trips, even paying for entertainment at a gentlemen’s club to a supervisor who was later fired for receiving it.
Unless it’s a governmental client or a public official or where there are allegations of bribery, giving or taking a vendor’s gift isn’t necessarily illegal, but it can cost you your job if it violates your company’s policy. If you’re concerned about whether to take a vendor’s gift this holiday season, disclose the gift to your boss. If the boss isn’t upset, you’re okay. If the boss is concerned, don’t take it. And if you’re afraid even to ask because you think it looks bad, imagine how bad it would look if it were disclosed to your company—or your wife.