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General Statement

In accordance with Executive Order 761, it is the policy of the University Union Operation of California State University Sacramento Inc., hereinafter known as Union WELL Inc., to use Union WELL Inc. funds for qualified business related hospitality expenses.

Guidelines and Procedures

Approving Authority: The Union WELL Inc. Executive Director, or designee, can approve the use of Union WELL Inc. funds for business related hospitality expenses.

To ensure the independence of this approval process, those delegated this authority cannot approve transactions reimbursing themselves. If the Union WELL Executive Director is the sponsor then the one of the Associate Director shall approve those funds.

It is the responsibility of the approving authority to ensure these expenses serve a clear university/auxiliary business related purpose. It is also the responsibility of the approving authority to ensure the employee who made the purchase or is being reimbursed derived no personal benefit.

Allowable Expenses: Business related hospitality expenses include meals, light refreshments, promotional materials, gifts, awards and travel expenses associated with Union WELL Inc. or campus events. (Please see the attached page for guidelines and limits.) Gifts are something of value given to an individual, group or entity with the expectation of benefit accruing to the Union WELL Inc. Awards are gifts of tangible personal property in recognition of service or achievement directly benefiting the Union WELL Inc. Promotional materials are gifts that are distributed to promote the name or image of the Union, the WELL and/or the University.

Allowable expenses must be directly related to the conduct of official Union WELL Inc. business. The approving authority must evaluate the importance of the event in terms of the costs that will be incurred, the benefits to be derived from such an expense, the availability of funds and any alternatives that would be equally effective in accomplishing the desired objectives.

A brief statement of justification explaining how the expense fulfills these guidelines must accompany the purchase requisition or authorization for payment or reimbursement. This statement should also include a list of those who attended the event. Those expenses related to an employee while that employee is on travel status are separately addressed. Expenses resulting from gifts and awards must also conform to all IRS and Franchise Tax Board regulations.

The following are examples of occasions when the provision for allowable business related hospitality expense is permitted:

  • When the Union or the WELL hosts official guests. These include people invited by a University Union or WELL representative to attend a University Union or WELL event.
  • When the University Union or the WELL is the host or sponsor of a meeting of a professional organization.
  • When the University Union or the WELL is the host or sponsor of meetings of an administrative nature that are directly related to the welfare of the Union WELL Inc. or the campus. In these instances, the hospitality must be a necessary and integral part of the business meeting and not a solely a matter of personal convenience. For example: 
    • A meeting where there is a scheduled speaker during the meal period;
    • A meeting where the participants work through a meal period;
    • Circumstances where it would be too time-consuming or disruptive for participants to take a meal break away from the meeting location.
  • When the Union WELL Inc. host’s receptions held in connection with conferences, meetings of professional organizations, fund raising events, meetings of student organizations, student events such as commencement exercises and meetings of other university related groups such as alumni organizations and advisory boards.
  • When the University Union or the WELL hosts receptions/events for the benefit of employee morale, employee recognition or length of service awards and retirement receptions.

Employee Meetings and Recognition Events:

Meals or light refreshments provided to employees may be permitted if the expenses occur infrequently and are reasonable and appropriate to the business purpose. Meals or light refreshments provided to employees on a frequent or routine basis are considered taxable income by the IRS and are therefore not permitted under this policy.

  • Meals or light refreshments should be limited to no more than twelve times per year, per group. It is the responsibility of the approving official to ensure that the department stays in compliance with this limit.
  • Meals or light refreshments provided to a group should be counted on an event basis, e.g., a two-day meeting should be counted as one event in determining compliance with these guidelines.

Meals or light refreshments provided in the course of a business meeting, interview process, award or service recognition event must be modest and reasonably priced. When a meeting takes place over an extended period of time and the agenda includes a working meal, there may be justification that the meal is integral to the business function, examples include:

  • A meeting where there is a scheduled speaker during the meal period; 
  • A meeting where the participants work through the meal period;
  • Circumstances where it would be too time-consuming or disruptive for participants to take a meal break away from the meeting location

Maximum Per-Person Rates for Hospitality Meals and Light Refreshments

Meal type*Maximum Per-Person
Breakfast$25.00
Lunch

$35.00

Dinner$60.00
Light Refreshment$18.00

*The maximum per-person calculation is created by dividing the total amount charged for food, beverage, tax, gratuity and service charge by the total number of actual attendees. If food is being ordered, the estimated number of attendees should be used when choosing the appropriate menu items.

When a hospitality expense exceeds the per-person maximum provided in the chart above, the hospitality is considered exceptional. Exceptions require a written justification for the overage and the approval from the Union WELL Inc. Executive Officer. This authority may not be delegated any further. The approved justification must include why adherence to the policy was unavoidable and necessary to achieve a Union WELL Inc. or University business purpose

Funding Categories:

Category of ExpenseUniversity Union Approved
Food and Beverages (other than alcoholic) Meeting attended only by Union WELL Inc. EmployeesYes
Food and Beverages (other than alcoholic) Meetings attended by Union WELL Inc. guestsYes
AlcoholNo*
GiftsYes
AwardsYes
Promotional ItemsYes
TravelYes

The Union WELL Inc. Executive Director may approve exceptions to the policy.

*Any approval of the purchase of alcohol requires that the source of funding is other than student fees.

This policy conforms to the campus Hospitality Expenses Procedures. Any question regarding implementation shall refer to the campus policy or to the Integrated CSU Administrative Manual; (ICSUAM) policy 1301.00 Hospitality, Payment or reimbursement of expenses for clarity and process. 

Previous titles: Business Related Hospitality Expenses (Guidelines for University Union Payment and Reimbursement)

Change History

Adopted: May 9, 2002

Updated: March 5, 2008

Updated: June 2012

Adopted: November 7, 2012

 

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