Guidelines for Employee Recognition Program

Departments must request cards in compliance with Policy G-41 (Employee Non-Cash Awards) and are responsible for implementation in accordance with tax requirements, as noted below:

Award Requirements per IRS and UC PolicyAward Type
Non-Cash Award
  • 3 awards per calendar year
  • Maximum $75 per award
  • Cards may be used only for tangible goods (see Related Link for additional card information)


  • Individual Awards
  • On the Spot Awards
  • Team Awards

Service Awards - award amounts exceeding $400 per calendar year would be taxable to employees.

Cards may be used for non-cash awards and only for tangible goods (not services).


  • Length of Service
  • Retirement


Gift cards are considered the same as cash and require the same level of security if storage is needed, see UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-49. UCLA Safe/Receptacles Requirements must be followed for secure storage. Gift card delivery will be via UCLA’s approved courier service, Dunbar, per UCLA Cash Handling Safety & Security. Departments will be recharged current per pick up rates, $8.50 for on-campus and $14.00 for off-campus.