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Cellular Phone and Wireless Handheld Device Policy and Procedures

Cellular Service Allowance Policy

Effective: October 1, 2015 (supersedes all prior policies)

Contact:  Human Resources


The University recognizes that some positions require cellular 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 cellular plan.  The allowance is considered by the IRS to be a taxable benefit and will be added to the employee’s payroll.

Policy Applies to

All new arrangements will use this policy effective October 1, 2015.

All current employees with cellular allowance arrangements will review their usage and allowances with the supervisor and allowances will be adjusted to the rates listed below effective January 1, 2016. 


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.)


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

  1. complete a Cellular Service Allowance Request Form,
  2. attach the employee’s most recent monthly cell phone bill with the appropriate amount 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 approval and processing.

Payment Amounts

Eligible allowance for a phone 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.

Plan Allowance

 A fixed plan allowance will be established based on the requirements of the job and agreed upon by the supervisor. The allowance will not cover multi-user features, or features not required for the job.

Plan Type

Voice or Data Only:  $25 per month

*Primary need to be accessible by phone with occasional need for data

*Primarily need access to data with occasional need for phone

 Voice and Data:  $50 per month

*Job requires employee to spend a considerable amount of time outside of assigned office or work area during normal working hours and requires substantial use of both phone and data.

 Example: If the job requires a basic cell phone and the employee chooses to select an enhanced, smartphone package that includes a data package, or adds a line for another family member, the university will provide an allowance for the basic cell phone plan of $25 per month.

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.