UCOP Human Resources
Revised June 1, 2017
The Spot Award Program allows managers to give modest, non-cash awards to recognize individuals or teams for noteworthy work-related accomplishments. Such awards must be within certain limited amounts and given with limited frequency in order to qualify for tax exemption by the Internal Revenue Service.
Spot Awards take the form of gift cards from Amazon, Peet’s, or Starbucks. These must be non-negotiable gift cards in an amount greater than $10 but no more than $75 per employee within a fiscal year. They can be purchased using the Business Resource Center Gift Card Request form (pdf).
Gift cards should be ordered as needed for a specific individual. Purchasing an inventory for the gift cards is no longer allowed under policy. The cards should be non-transferable, non-redeemable for cash and inscribed with the recipient's name if possible (if not, employees should simply be told not to transfer the card to another individual).
For full details about the allowable gifts, limits on dollar amounts and frequency, procedures and related information, see University of California Policy BFB-G-41 (pdf).