Employee Bashed for Asking Coworkers To Give $100 for Boss' Christmas Gift

An employee organizing a fund drive at work to give their boss an expensive gift is being dragged on a popular Reddit forum.

One of the employee's coworkers, u/E60fan, shared his story to the r/antiwork subreddit, earning 16,000 upvotes and 2,300 comments in 10 hours with his now-deleted post, "Was just told that all employees are asked to give $100 towards a Christmas present for my works owner."

The original poster (OP) says that he's been working at his current company for the past year and a half. Last year, one of his coworkers asked for money to give a gift to the owner of the company, and since u/E60fan happened to have a $20 bill, he donated that to the cause.

This year, however, the same employee has come around again, this time asking for $100 from everyone, in order to buy him a family vacation.

"I'm all for contributing in buying my boss a present as he is an amazing boss, like maybe $20-$50. But $100 to go towards a vacation for his family seems absolutely ridiculous," u/E60fan wrote, asking if other workplaces did this sort of thing.

In a comment, u/E60fan clarified that the boss himself was not asking for this, but that the employee has apparently been fundraising for the boss' Christmas gifts for at least five years. He told Newsweek that in previous years, gifts for the boss included expensive whiskeys and a table made from a whiskey barrel.

boss christmas gift vacation reddit viral antiwork
An employee who wants his fellow coworkers to donate $100 to send the boss and his family on a vacation for Christmas. iStock/Getty Images

While it can be appropriate to buy a holiday gift for one's boss—and many outlets even offer gift guides for bosses—the majority of suggestions across many different outlets were in the $20-$50 price range. For example, Business Insider's most expensive suggestion—custom stationery—was $66; New York magazine's, a NutriBullet blender, was $62; while Good Housekeeping had the most expensive potential gift at $130, a temperature-controlled smart mug.

However, according to The Balance Careers, an online magazine about business culture, workers getting gifts for their boss is not ever required—and, the site says, can even be seen as brown-nosing. The site does recommend that if workers decide to get their boss a gift, a group gift is the way to go.

In addition, The Balance Careers recommends $25 as a good cap for an individual gift—which is also a good rule of thumb for each person's maximum contribution for a group gift.

Newsweek has run other stories about workers refusing to buy bosses gifts—with the refuseniks always being supported for setting boundaries. One manager refused to ask staff to contribute to a gift for their company's director. In another story, a woman wouldn't contribute to their boss' gift because they'd never gotten a holiday bonus. And one intern declined to contribute the amount they'd earn from five hours' work to pay for their boss' birthday party.

Reddit took u/E60fan's side.

"Not just no, but hell no," u/OkHistory3944 wrote in the top-rated comment with 9,400 upvotes.

"I had a company for a minute. I would literally have been sick to my stomach in this situation. Correct response is to be gracious in public, but nip it in the bud by figuring out who's bright idea it was and make it clear to them in private it was nice thought but never again acceptable. Then take everyone out for a staff event on the clock, or nice lunches catered and extended breaks or whatever, of greater value. Or a bonus the next month of more. Money/gifts flew from the owner to the workers. NEVER the other way. That's gross," u/Shoddy_Corgi_1894 added.

"My employees don't get to buy me coffee if I can help it. Hell no on anything more. Absolutely not. I am not allowed to give anything lavish either, but lunch, coffee, gifts, gift cards.......all of that flows FROM bosses to the work force," u/cyanotoxic wrote.

"I am retired now, but I had a job that [did] something similar I just plainly stated stated that NO, I would not be contributing. Once I had the nerve to say I wasn't doing it, the amount of 'nopes' piled up," u/banjolady wrote.

"Yeahhh this happened to me once. I was pressured by my boss to pay $100 towards a company gift to the owner for a resort stay. Guess who got let go the week of Christmas?" u/ivycreekco wrote. "Then they had the nerve to ask if I would cover a shift for someone the week of New Years because they didn't bother to check the schedule ahead of time. The owners wife had to do it [smiling emoji]."