Meals

General Rule: State employees may not accept or solicit a free or discounted meal worth more than $25 from a source outside state government.  A "meal" does not include receptions where finger food and snacks are served and there is no sit-down meal service.  Thus, state employees may attend such receptions under state ethics rules.

State employees may accept meals worth more than $25 only under the following circumstances:

Exceptions:

  1. Meal is motivated by personal or family relationships; or,
  2. Meal is provided at widely attended event AND it is obvious the meal is not a pretext for exclusive access to the person; or,
  3. Meal is provided at public event in which person attends due to official capacity (the "rubber chicken dinner"); or,
  4. Meal is provided when it is obvious that it is not provided due to person's official position; or,
  5. It is refreshments such as soft drinks, coffee or snack foods that are not part of a meal.
  6. Fair market value of the meal is paid to the provider; or
  7. Meals provided to a person when the person's presence at the event or meeting at which the meal is provided serves a legitimate state purpose or interest and the agency of which such person is an officer or employee authorizes such person's attendance at such event or meeting; or
  8. Meals provided to the governor's spouse and members of the governor's immediate family at the event or meeting at which the meal is provided serve a legitimate state purpose or interest.

DISCLAIMER: The Office of the General Counsel of the University of Kansas publishes these web pages for general information only. The pages are not intended to provide specific legal advice for any specific situation. Legal advice can be provided only in the course of an attorney-client relationship with reference to all the facts of a specific situation. This information, therefore, must not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney. While we try to provide links to timely and authoritative information, the content of linked sites is subject to local disclaimers, and the Office of the General Counsel makes no guarantees, express or implied, concerning its accuracy. We recommend that users obtain confirmation from official sources of all information found on World Wide Web sites.


Contact Information

Lawrence campus:
245 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7535
785-864-3276
785-864-4617

Medical Center: 
2001 Murphy Administration Building, Mail Stop 2013
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160-7101
913-588-7281
913-945-5866

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today