UW Medicine Compliance

Gifts, Food, and Meals from External Sources – FAQs

The intent of the following FAQs are to help UW Medicine workforce members, including faculty, staff and trainees navigate the applicable laws, policies and rules governing the receipt of gifts, food and meals from external sources.

At the heart of this issue is influence — whether the externally supported gift, including food, meals, beverages, supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals — could be viewed as an attempt to influence your judgment about business-related decisions impacting the work you do for UW Medicine. Your entity’s policies may also put limits on what gifts you can accept. In addition, the State Ethics Law restricts gifts for state employees.

This document addresses gifts directed at individuals. If you have any questions, consult your chair, department director, supervisor or manager.

Are you saying gift giving is bad or that we should just refuse all gifts?
Can I attend a vendor-sponsored offsite educational event?
What if a vendor sponsors a dinner event at a restaurant or other location, during which a vendor representative or other speaker talks about a particular disease, technique or treatment, which may or may not mention the vendor’s products/services?
Are there exceptions where I can accept meals and beverages?
A vendor wants to show us their new equipment, but the only time we can meet is during our lunch break. Can they bring us lunch? We will be working through our lunch as we listen to their sales pitch.
What if I go to a work-related conference and a vendor is sponsoring the hosted happy hour? Can I have hors d’oeuvres and wine there?
I went to a conference paid for by work. Each attendee was automatically eligible to win a door prize and I won a tablet PC donated by a vendor. Can I personally keep it?
What if I had paid my own way to the same conference, including travel, lodging and conference registration fees and had gone on my vacation time? Could I keep the door prize?
We have a long-standing relationship with a vendor and we are midway through a five-year contract. The vendor wants to take my team out for a boat cruise to show their thanks for our business. Can we accept it?
A vendor with whom we do business really likes my work and wants me to participate in their corporate focus group. They will pay for my airfare, hotel, meals and time. Can I accept this invitation?
I never knew so many things were prohibited. What would be acceptable for a vendor to give me?
What about patients? May I accept a gift from a patient?



Gifts, Food and Meals from External Sources