The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) recognizes that it is common practice, especially during the Holiday Season, for many businesses to provide gifts or other things of value as a gesture of goodwill or appreciation for receiving quality customer service. While the sentiment behind such gestures may be well intended, licensee gifts to PLCB employees are prohibited by law and PLCB policy and are therefore unacceptable.
Section 491(14) of the Liquor Code prohibits any person purchasing liquor or alcohol at wholesale from the PLCB (i.e., licensees) from paying or offering to pay any commission, profit, or remuneration or making or offering to make any gift to any member or employee of the PLCB. Violations of this prohibition may subject the giver to citations by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (“BLCE”), which could result in the imposition of fines or other penalties impacting a licensee and its license.
Moreover, the PLCB maintains a strict Employee Code of Conduct which prohibits its members, executives, and other employees from accepting gifts or things of value from licensees. This prohibition is grounded in avoiding any actual or perceived conflicts of interest. PLCB employees who violate this prohibition are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of their employment with the PLCB.
Accordingly, the PLCB respectfully asks that you refrain from offering or giving any gifts or other things of value, including food or beverages, during your interactions with PLCB employees. This includes sending or bringing items to the PLCB’s headquarters or any of its other locations, including Fine Wine & Good Spirits Stores and Licensee Service Centers. If any items are sent or brought to a PLCB location, they will be immediately returned, and the matter may be referred to BLCE for further action.
If you would like to show your appreciation for the quality customer service the PLCB provides, a simple “thank you” would be most appropriate and well received.
– J. Ken Butera