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Cellular Equipment/Service Policy and Procedures

Effective: April, 2012 (This policy clarifies and replaces any prior version)

Contact:  Human Resources

Summary

The University recognizes that some positions require cellular equipment/service in order to fulfill the essential job duties required. Employees occupying positions which have been identified as requiring this type of technology may be eligible to receive additional compensation in the form of a cell phone or wireless handheld device allowance.

The allowance is based on the business need and may or may not cover the entire cost of the employee’s choice in equipment and/or plan.  The allowance is considered by the IRS to be a taxable benefit and will be added to the employee’s payroll and will be taxed accordingly.

Policy Applies to

All new arrangements will use this policy effective April 1, 2012.

All current employees with cellular equipment arrangements will review their usage and allowances with the supervisor and allowances will be adjusted to the rates listed below effective July 1, 2012.

Authorization

To receive an allowance, an employee must meet at least one of the following two criteria:

1. The employee’s job requires them to spend a considerable amount of time outside of their assigned office or work area during normal working hours and requires them to have regular access to telephone and/or internet connections.

2. The employee’s job requires them to be regularly accessible outside of scheduled or normal working hours.  (This does not include occasional, incidental, or purely voluntary access, such as checking email from home.)

Procedure

If a supervisor deems it appropriate for someone in his/her department to receive an allowance the supervisor must:

  1. complete a Cell Phone Allowance Request Form,
  2. attach the employee’s cell phone company receipt for phone and monthly bill with the appropriate amounts circled,
  3. forward it to the employee’s departmental Vice President for approval, who will then
  4. forward to the Office of Human Resources for review and processing.

Payment Amounts

Eligible allowance for phone, accessories and minute plan is based upon what is required for the job.  An employee may choose whatever s/he desires, but allowance is based on business need, not employee choice.

Equipment Allowance: In general, new phone purchases will be considered for the following events:

  1.  The employee does not otherwise have cellular equipment and the job requires it,
  2.  After two (2) years from the date of the last university supported purchase, an upgrade will be considered, but not guaranteed.  The decision will be based on what offer the employee’s preferred carrier is providing (many carriers offer free upgrades with a continued contract) and/or any changes in the employee’s job duties. 
  3. If there is something wrong with the equipment or the equipment is broken.

If phone is lost or stolen, the employee is responsible for its replacement.   Employees should make sure that the equipment they wish to purchase will be eligible for reimbursement. Accessories (i.e., chargers, case covers, holsters) are not covered unless specifically noted as necessary for the position.

Plan Allowance: A fixed plan allowance will be established based on the requirements of the job and agreed upon by the supervisor. It may be adjusted if there is a need based upon approved changes in job description. The university will provide allowance for only the amount of minutes required for the job. The allowance will not cover multi-user features, or features not required for the job.

Example: If the job requires a basic cell phone with 450 minutes per month, and the employee chooses to select an enhanced, wireless handheld with > 900 plus texting package and data package, or adds a line for another family member, the university will provide an allowance for the basic cell phone plan of $30 per month.

TYPE OF EQUIPMENT

CELL PHONE

Equipment Charge Up to $50

HANDHELD DEVICE

Equipment Charge up to $200

ACTIVATION FEE

One time allowance up to $27

MONTHLY MINUTES REQUIRED

Plan

450 minutes

900 minutes

Unlimited

Voice only

$30

$50

$60

Voice/Text/Data

$50

$75

$85

Data Only

$25

$25

$25

 

These amounts are based on AT&T published pricing (2012)

                                                                               

450 min plan                                       $39.99

900 min plan                                       $59.99

Data 200MB                                        $15.00

Data 2 GB                                           $25.00

Messaging                                          $20.00

 

Employees are strongly encouraged to select devices that are compatible with Google email/calendar. Find a list of compatible devices at http://www.google.com/support/mobile.

Exceptions

If an exception is necessary, the supervisor can provide supporting documentation as to the circumstances that require  an employee to need special equipment and or service to be able to do their job.