The Board understands the desire of students, parents, and others to give gifts to show appreciation of an employee. Rather than giving gifts, the Board encourages, as more welcome and appropriate, the writing of letters to express gratitude and appreciation or the donation of a gift to benefit the District rather than an individual employee.
Employees shall not, either directly or indirectly, solicit, accept, or receive any gift, series of gifts or an honorarium unless the donor does not meet the definition of a “donor” stated below or the gift or honorarium does not meet the definition of “gift” or an “honorarium” stated below. However, employees may receive nonmonetary gifts of a value less than $3.00 if the donor does not intend to influence the employee’s professional judgment. Employees may receive a gift on behalf of the District.
A “donor” is defined as a person or other entity which:
- Is seeking to be or is a party to any one or any combination of sales, purchases, leases, or contracts to, from, or with the District;
- Is engaged in activities, which are regulated or controlled by the District;
- Will be directly and substantially affected financially by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duty in a way that is greater than the effect on the public generally or on a substantial class of persons to which the person belongs as a member of a profession, occupation, industry, or region; or
- Is a lobbyist with respect to matters within the District’s jurisdiction.
A “gift” is the giving of anything of value in return for which something of equal or greater value is not given or received. However, “gift” does not include any of the following:
- Contributions to a candidate or a candidate’s committee;
- Information material relevant to an employee’s official function, such as books, pamphlets, reports, documents, or periodicals;
- Anything received from a person related within the fourth degree by kinship or marriage, unless the donor is acting as an agent or intermediary for another person not so related;
- An inheritance;
- Anything available or distributed to the public generally without regard to the official status of the employee:
- Actual expenses of an employee for food, beverages, travel, and lodging for a meeting, which is given in return for participation in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting when the expenses relate directly to the day or days on which the employee has participation or presentation responsibilities;
- Plaques or items of negligible resale value given as recognition for public services;
- Items of food and drink with a value of less than three dollars that are received from anyone donor during one calendar day;
- Items or services solicited or given to a state, national, or regional organization in which the state of Iowa or a political subdivision of the state of Iowa is a member; or
- Items or services received as part of a regularly scheduled event that is part of a conference, seminar, or other meeting that is sponsored and directed by any state, national, or regional organization in which the state of Iowa or a political subdivision of the state of Iowa is a member.
An “honorarium” is anything of value that is accepted by, or on behalf of, an employee as consideration for an appearance, speech, or article. However, an honorarium does not include any of the following:
- Actual expenses of an employee for food, beverages, travel, or lodging for a meeting, which is given in return for participation in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting when the expenses relate directly to the day or days on which the employee has participation or presentation responsibilities;
- A nonmonetary gift or series of nonmonetary gifts donated within thirty days to a public body, a bona fide educational or charitable organization, or the department of general services; or
- A payment made to an employee for service rendered as part of a bona fide private business, trade, or profession in which the employee is engaged if the payment is commensurate with the actual services rendered and is not being made because of the person’s status as an employee but rather, because of some special expertise or other qualification.
It shall be the responsibility of each employee to know when it is appropriate to accept or reject gifts or an honorarium. An employee who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.