217.1 - Cellular and Other Wireless Mobile Communication Devies and Services

217.1 Cellular and Other Wireless Mobile Communication Devies and Services

P-217.1 The College may fund cellular service used for conducting college business by the following methods:
  1. The College may provide a monetary allowance (24 times per year) for individual cellular service and a periodic, monetary allowance for equipment purchase or replacement, upon the President’s approval, to employees who meet established criteria for business necessity. Individual monetary allowances will be issued as supplemental pay.
  2. In some instances, the President may approve college-purchased devices and services for departmentally-shared employee use.
  3. When cellular service usage is minor and infrequent, reimbursement will be made to employees for the actual expense incurred for business calls when using their own personal service or device.
D-217.1 Cellular service or equipment includes cellular telephones, data cards, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or other telecommunication devices that have voice, text, internet, or data capabilities, and may or may not involve a service contract.
Pr-217.1 Allowance for Business Use of Employee-Provided Cellular Service and Device
Upon approval of the Vice President and President, an employee may be provided with an ongoing cash allowance that would be used to purchase approved telecommunication services needed for College business purposes. An initial, one-time amount representing the value of the approved device or approved replacement device will be reimbursed.
Pr-217.2 Employees Who Qualify for a Cellular Service Allowance
There are limited circumstances under which an employee may be considered for an allowance. The need for a cellular device must be a critical, frequent factor in the employee’s ability to carry out the essential functions of the position for which the employee has been hired. The essential functions which determine this need must be established and documented in the job description and this document must be approved by the Vice President and President.
Pr-217.3 Once approved for monetary allowance, employees must reach agreement on a device and service plan with their Vice President and the Information Technology Help Desk prior to selecting the specific device and plan. If the employee is financially unable to purchase the device prior to receiving the allowance, the device may be purchased after receiving the allowance.
Pr-217.4 Allowances are established by submitting an approved Employment/Change form to Human Resources. Once an allowance has been established, it will continue to be issued as supplemental pay until a new Employment/Change form is submitted by the employee's department head documenting a change in the cellular service amount or termination of the allowance.
Pr-217.5 Levels of Allowances
There are many cellular carriers with varying plans for service and equipment. The amount of the allowance is intended to cover the level of business use of the employee’s cellular service and device, including related taxes and other necessary and appropriate charges. The Vice President will determine the appropriate allowance amount (recurring and periodic) that will cover an employee's business need for the service plan and the device. The determination should include the appropriate number of plan minutes, roaming, and long distance calling options, text messaging, data, internet, and other plan features that are required for the performance of the employee's business need. In July of each year, the immediate supervisor must provide to the Vice President a copy of the employee’s current monthly bill showing the invoice amount and plan features.
Pr-217.6 Other Employee Responsibilities
The employee will select service from any vendor whose service meets the requirements of the employee's business need as determined by the supervisor and approved by the department head.

Invoices for cellular service plans must be mailed to the employee's home address.

The employee is personally responsible for complying with any contract entered into with a cellular service provider, including payment of all expenses incurred.

Employees must show, when requested by their supervisor, that the monthly bill including taxes and fees is at least the amount of the monetary allowance. If the monthly bill does not equal or exceed the amount of the allowance on a regular basis, the supervisor, with Vice President approval, should adjust the amount of the allowance to a lower amount. If the employee's business-related service plan expenses consistently exceed the allowance, an upward adjustment of the allowance may be made, with Vice President’s and President’s approval.

An employee receiving an allowance for cellular service must immediately notify the supervisor when service is activated and any time service is deactivated. The supervisor and the employee are responsible for immediately notifying the Human Resources department if any cellular service authorizations are discontinued.

An employee is subject to payroll deduction of any applicable IRS-required taxation of supplemental pay provided for cell phone allowance and college-provided reimbursements for cell phone devices.


Fees for Contract Changes or Cancellation
If, prior to the end of the service contract, a personal decision by the employee, misconduct, or misuse of the device results in the need to end or change the cellular service contract, the employee will pay any fees associated with that change or cancellation. For example, if the employee quits and no longer wants to retain the current cellular contract for personal purposes, the employee is responsible for paying the remaining contract charges and terminating the service plan.

If, prior to the end of the service contract, a College decision results in the need to end or change the cellular contract, the College will pay any additional fees associated with that change or cancellation of service. For example, this might occur if the employee's supervisor has changed the employee's duties, and the wireless device is no longer needed for business purposes.

Pr-217.8 Department-Shared Devices for the Department of Public Safety and Certain Continuing Education Programs
The Department of Public Safety and certain Continuing Education Programs are authorized to use College-provided cellular devices and services that are shared by personnel during their work hours. The College will maintain a record of each call. The department will establish a sign-in/sign-out log for department-assigned phones. The department supervisor will review and compare the call logs to the actual invoice for compliance. Personal calls using College-provided devices are strictly prohibited.

Employee-Provided Phone/Service With Reimbursement for Business Use
Employees not qualifying for a cellular service allowance may request reimbursement for the actual extra expenses of business calls and text/data messages made using their own cellular equipment with the provision that reimbursement for per-minute "air time" charges and text/data messages is limited to the total overage charge shown on the invoice (i.e., expenses for minutes/text/data included in the plan will not be reimbursed).

Reimbursement should be requested via the Local Travel/Mileage/Expense Reimbursement form. A copy of the invoice must be attached to the form, with the separate business-use charges clearly highlighted and submitted to the Financial Services department. Prepaid service plans are eligible for reimbursement when itemized call data is provided.


Use of Devices While Operating a Motor Vehicle
Employees are obligated to follow relevant state laws when utilizing the device while operating a motor vehicle. Cell phone use when driving is discouraged except in an emergency situation. To dial, or otherwise initiate a call, or to respond to a call, the driver should leave the road and safely park the vehicle.

The College is not liable for any fines resulting from violation of state laws regarding cell phone use, or claims from a motor vehicle accident, which have been determined to be caused by violating such laws.

Content Owner: Donna Davis - ddavis@stchas.edu
Page Updated by: Jessica Trimborn
Date Issued: 05/18/2009
Revision Dates: 10/17/2011