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  1. #1

    Default Gift Appropriateness

    I went with a friend that was a girl. My friend said that since we were going to a birthday party. That she would feel uncomfortable going without having a gift.

    My friend picked out a pair of earrings for $10 and a necklace for $35. It was a mom and pop store so they said the earrings were free. So the total was $35.

    My friend took the gift out of her purse and gave it to the birthday girl. She said it was $50 and that I bought it for her. She was really happy and hugged me twice. Once from the front and once from the side. Something I did not expect.

    The birthday girl went dancing and then was done and walked by me and my friend saying the I love you guys.

    My friend then disappeared literally. I turned around and could not find her.

    She showed up twenty minute later and said she went to go talk to the birthday girls friends.

    We stood around for and hour and friend said she wanted to leave and said I wanted to stick around.

    My friend took off again for 30 minutes.

    She came back and said the girl was upset that I had a crush on her and she was not interested in me. She said the girl thought I was stalking her and was going to give me back the necklace at work because she thought it was inappropriate because it was so much money ($50) even though I actually paid $35 and my friend had picked the stuff out and I had only paid for them.

    I did not believe the wild and crazy story and told my friend she was making it up and we left right then with me upset and my friend said she felt sick because of the loud music.

    I saw the girl at work Monday and she didnít act weird or anything so I completely thought my friend made it up.

    I saw the girl also Wednesday in the hall and I walked by her and said Hi and she said nothing, but kind of fake smiled which she always does.

    Yesterday I asked her if she wanted to hang out over the weekend and she freaked out saying that she gave the necklace to our boss and that that wanted to keep our relationship professional. I was in shock that the crazy story was true and responded Iím fine with that.

    Should the boss have taken the necklace from her or told her that it was not work related since it had nothing to do with our workplace. It was at 10:00 at night at a scummy dance club.

    Could I get in trouble for anything?

    How should I respond when confronted by our boss or Human Resources?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    There's nothing illegal about the the boss taking and keeping the necklace and earrings. The boss is not legally required to tell your coworker that the necklace and earrings are not work-related because they have nothing to do with your workplace.

    (And fact, this gift is work-related - because the person you gave it to is a coworker of yours.)

    If/when the boss and/or HR confront you about this, tell them you're very sorry, you didn't realize at the time that this was inappropriate, but you do realize it now. Apologize profusely, promise never to do it again, stay away from the girl to whom you gave the gift, and cross your fingers that you don't get fired over this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    Quote Quoting eerelations
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    There's nothing illegal about the the boss taking and keeping the necklace and earrings. The boss is not legally required to tell your coworker that the necklace and earrings are not work-related because they have nothing to do with your workplace.

    (And fact, this gift is work-related - because the person you gave it to is a coworker of yours.)

    If/when the boss and/or HR confront you about this, tell them you're very sorry, you didn't realize at the time that this was inappropriate, but you do realize it now. Apologize profusely, promise never to do it again, stay away from the girl to whom you gave the gift, and cross your fingers that you don't get fired over this.
    Why didn't the girl refuse the gift when presented if she felt the way she did? What she should have done if she later felt the way she did is to return the gift to OP and not bring this into the workplace.. This was a birthday party OP was invited to. It had nothing to do with the workplace. Is there an employee manual that has a policy about fraternizing with coworkers outside of the workplace? I doubt it.


    (And fact, this gift is work-related - because the person you gave it to is a coworker of yours.)
    Would you feel the same if it were a guy's birthday party and OP gave him a tie?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Why didn't the girl refuse the gift when presented if she felt the way she did? What she should have done if she later felt the way she did is to return the gift to OP and not bring this into the workplace.. This was a birthday party OP was invited to. It had nothing to do with the workplace. Is there an employee manual that has a policy about fraternizing with coworkers outside of the workplace? I doubt it.

    Would you feel the same if it were a guy's birthday party and OP gave him a tie?
    I never said that there's anything wrong with attending a coworker's birthday party. However, any interactions between coworkers at said birthday party can be considered work-related if they rise to the level of illegal harassment and if said illegal harassment spills over into the workplace after the birthday party. (Not that any actual illegal harassment appears to have occurred in OP's situation - but things sure seemed to be headed in that direction, given what the girl told the boss and OP.)

    This isn't about how/what I feel, it's about my extensive knowledge of employment law.

    And yes, my response might have been similar if the girl was a guy - except that a tie and jewelry are not the same thing. A tie is much less personal than jewelry (especially $50-worth of jewelry). Jewelry gifts are often seen to be romantic in nature. Ties? Not so much.

    (And if the girl was a guy and OP gave said guy some jewelry? My response would definitely be the same.)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    I'm not trying to bust your *ss (maybe I am) but, I think you get my point. So a tie is not a come-on but cufflinks are? You can pay over a $100.00 or $200 for a tie these days.

    https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/gucci-f...es&color=black

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    Hmmm...I've looked and looked at my posts and cannot for the life of me see where I said cufflinks (or even jewelry) are a come-on. I did say that jewelry was more personal than a tie, but I never meant "come-on" by that. If I'd wanted to say "come-on" I would have said "come-on."

    I understand that you're hell-bent on busting my *ss (as you so crudely put it), but really, if you're going to try and ding me, at least do it on stuff I actually said. Dinging me for stuff you made up just makes you look bad.

    And as far as this particular situation is concerned (let's stay on case, OK?), I seriously doubt OP would have spent $50 (or even $35) on a birthday gift - personal or otherwise - for some random male coworker. No, this was a special prezzie for a special someone - who later decided that she didn't want to be so special.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    I'm not trying to bust your *ss (maybe I am) but, I think you get my point. So a tie is not a come-on but cufflinks are? You can pay over a $100.00 or $200 for a tie these days.
    It's not the value of the gift that determines how intimate the gift is regarded. I think you'd concede that buying a woman, say, a thong (as in underwear) is a pretty intimate kind of gift even though some thongs can be purchased for less than $10. I'll not provide a link here for proof given the nature of the item, but can do so if you really contest that. But a tie or cuff-links, despite potentially costing much more, would not be regarded the same way. Similarly, giving a single red rose to a woman is clearly going to be perceived as a romantic gesture, whereas giving, say, a cactus plant as a gift would not, even though the cactus might cost more than that single rose.

    So try again, Bud. The cost isn't the issue here.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    It's not the value of the gift that determines how intimate the gift is regarded. I think you'd concede that buying a woman, say, a thong (as in underwear) is a pretty intimate kind of gift even though some thongs can be purchased for less than $10. I'll not provide a link here for proof given the nature of the item, but can do so if you really contest that. But a tie or cuff-links, despite potentially costing much more, would not be regarded the same way. Similarly, giving a single red rose to a woman is clearly going to be perceived as a romantic gesture, whereas giving, say, a cactus plant as a gift would not, even though the cactus might cost more than that single rose.

    So try again, Bud. The cost isn't the issue here.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    It's not the value of the gift that determines how intimate the gift is regarded. I think you'd concede that buying a woman, say, a thong (as in underwear) is a pretty intimate kind of gift even though some thongs can be purchased for less than $10. I'll not provide a link here for proof given the nature of the item, but can do so if you really contest that. But a tie or cuff-links, despite potentially costing much more, would not be regarded the same way. Similarly, giving a single red rose to a woman is clearly going to be perceived as a romantic gesture, whereas giving, say, a cactus plant as a gift would not, even though the cactus might cost more than that single rose.

    So try again, Bud. The cost isn't the issue here.
    If you go back and look, it was not I that raised the issue of the cost of the gift. To me, $50 is not a lot to spend on a necklace and earrings or on a nice cactus plant or a gift card by today's standards. And lets keep in mind that it was OP's female friend that picked it out. Just saying. I don't think OP had a clue what the connotations might be.

    I just think that it was really unfair for the co-worker to put OP in the position he now finds himself in.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gift Appropriateness


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