It's the time of year when you may share tokens of appreciation with all sorts of people from hair stylists to teachers and babysitters. You may even want to grab a gift card or stuff a little cash in an envelope for your mail carrier. But is it actually legal to give your mail carrier a Christmas tip here in Michigan?

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Mail Carriers Work Extra Hard During the Holidays

Let's face it, mail carriers (and delivery people in general) are under increased pressure to deliver Christmas cards, packages, and online orders during the holidays. Of all the service industry people on your list, they're probably among the most deserving right?

(Useless but true face) I'm the son of a former US Postal Worker. My dad was a mail carrier for years before he became a Post Master in my 'Up North' hometown. The statute of limitations has long expired, so I'll tell you that he did receive a few gifts at Christmastime when I was a kid.

Cash Gifts for Postal Workers Are Prohibited

We did a little research and found that small non-cash gifts are acceptable, but cash tips can put mail carriers on the naughty list.

Since postal workers are federal employees, they're required to comply with "Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Federal Branch."

"Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount."


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