It's that time of year where honestly some of the biggest MVPs are mail carriers and delivery drivers. They are bringing our online purchases to us safely, while working many long hours. You want to show your gratitude, but is it illegal to tip these folks?

We did some digging into the claims that you can't tip United States Postal Service carriers in any part of New York State. Why? They are considered to be federal employees. As federal workers, they have certain rules to follow when it comes to receiving gifts. However, Christmas and the holiday season allows somewhat of a tip/gift. Here's what we found out:

Under federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount.

That means that technically, even though your mail carrier can legally accept a gift with a value of up to $20, you can't hand them a $20 bill, check, or any sort of gift card that can be exchanged for cash.

Fox 5 NY reports that a recent survey conducted found that trash collectors and mail carriers are tipped an average of $20, but only 19% of New York adults plan to tip their waste management workers. Here's more of a breakdown:

Housekeepers and childcare providers are tipped the most at an average of $50. Forty-seven percent of adults plan to tip their housekeepers and 41% plan to tip their childcare providers.

Let's be real for a moment- this is a pretty dumb policy. If you want to offer your mail carrier a tip for excellent service and they accept it, we're not going to tell anyone or report you. On the flip side, if you do offer them a tip and they politely decline it, now you know why.

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