Am I a Section 4 employee?

The Ethics in Public Service Act allows certain state employees to keep gifts with an aggregate value of fifty dollars from a single source in a calendar year or a single gift from multiple sources with a value of fifty dollars.  However, if you have been deemed a “Section 4” employee, this $50 gift rule does NOT apply to you.

Section 4 refers to paragraph 4 of the Limitations on Gifts section of the Ethics Act - RCW 42.52.150(4).  This section imposes more stringent limitations on gifts that can be received by officers and employees that are considered “Section 4” employees.

To determine if you are a Section 4 employee, you must ask yourself three questions:

Question 1.  Are you employed by a regulatory agency or an agency that seeks to acquire goods or services?  If yes, move on to question 2.  If no, then you would not be considered a Section 4 employee.

Question 2.  Does your agency regulate or contract with the person giving the gift?  If yes, move on to question 3.  If no, then you would not be considered a Section 4 employee in that instance.

Question 3.  Did you participate in the regulatory or contractual matters with that person?  If yes, then you are considered a Section 4 employee and would fall under the more stringent rules regarding gifts found in RCW 42.52.150(4).  If no, then you would not be considered a Section 4 employee.

Some agencies have designated their entire workforce as Section 4, so check with your agency.  You may also be a Section 4 employee in one instance and not in another.  When in doubt, you should consult with your supervisor or contact the Ethics Board for advice.



Filing a Complaint

Filing a Complaint

A citizen's guide to filing a complaint

Ethics Training and Education

Ethics Training and Education

Get ethics training for state employees, management and trainers

Board Meetings

Board Meetings

Our next meeting is July 8, 2022 at 9:00 am

No front page content has been created yet.

What We Do

The Executive Ethics Board enforces the Ethics In Public Service Act, RCW 42.52. The Board has jurisdiction over statewide elected officials and state employees in the executive branch; including boards and commissions and institutions of higher education.

Online Ethics Quiz

Test your knowledge of the state's ethics laws.

Take the Quiz


May 17, 2022 - EEB News May 2022
May 5, 2022 - 2021 Annual Report
March 18, 2022 - EEB News March 2022
February 4, 2022 - Board Member Opening
January 20, 2022 - EEB News January 2022