Is it Illegal to Tip Your Mail Carrier in Minnesota?
During the holiday season, many people tip more than usual. They tip their hairstylist more, they tip their delivery driver more. There are also people that get tips during the holidays that don't usually get tipped other times in the year, like mail carriers. But I was today years old when I learned that tipping your mail carrier is technically illegal in Minnesota.
I saw someone on Facebook say in response to this "if this is wrong, I don't want to be right" and I think that would be a common feeling. I was very surprised that we aren't actually supposed to be tipping our mail carriers. But why?
Why It's Illegal to Tip Your Mail Carrier
According to a federal regulation that you can see for yourself on the United States Postal Service website, all postal employees (including mail carriers) are not allowed to accept any cash or cash equivalents like gift cards or checks.
And it appears they can get in some serious trouble if it gets reported that your mail carrier accepted cash or a cash equivalent. This isn't a story about a mail carrier but according to a New York Daily News story, a garbage collector in New York City lost his job and was fined $1,500 for accepting a $20. So yeah, that's not good.
What You CAN Get Your Mail Carrier for the Holidays
Mail carriers however can accept gifts from homeowners. So if you'd like to do something nice for your mail carrier, you can get them a gift. There are rules with that though. Postal employees aren't allowed to accept gifts that are over $20 per special occasion (i.e. Christmas). They also aren't allowed to accept gifts that total more than $50 per calendar year. So keep all of that in mind as you go hunting for a gift for your mail carrier.