'Tis the season of giving, and it is kind of typical for customer service industries to see an influx of tips.

It is the time of year where some people have the overwhelming urge to be big tippers. There was even a recent story in North Dakota where a young server in West Fargo received a $700 tip! While tipping is legal and expected in some customer service industries, it is actually illegal and a fireable offense in North Dakota.

Some customer service industries in North Dakota prohibit employees from accepting tips.

While it is very common to tip in customer service industries like sit-down restaurants and salons, it is not so common to see tipping in customer service industries like mail delivery. And not only is it uncommon to get tips in the mail delivery, but it is also actually illegal. Sort of.

According to the United States Postal Service website, "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." So, it is actually legal to tip your carrier, but keep it at $20 or under. While I think it sucks that some industries require their employees to reject tips, I can understand part of the reason why tips are not to be accepted.

"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."

Legally, it is a requirement of anyone exchanging money to report tips.

I did hair for five years and the salons I worked at emphasized the importance of reporting tips. I do know of a stylist or two who has been audited for not reporting tips. You know, the government has to get theirs. And it is likely kind of hard to keep track of drivers accepting tips. So, it makes a bit of sense why tipping is illegal for mail carriers.

How do you feel about the law prohibiting mail carriers from accepting tips over $20?

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