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Cellular Phone Policy and Procedures Purpose

Background

This policy will simplify the cell phone program, and result in each user having both freedom of choice and personal responsibility for his or her cell phone plan. It will also enable Wesleyan to comply with IRS rules regarding the taxability of employee cell phones.  The IRS considers cell phone allowances as a working condition fringe benefit, and not taxable, as long as there is substantial reason relating to the employer's business for providing the employee with a cell phone.

Policy

The university will not own cell phones for the use of individual employees except in limited situations that require specific equipment or similar technology to perform university functions (e.g. public safety, physical plant, etc.). As always, these cell phones are not intended for personal use.

Employees whose job duties include the frequent need for a cell phone may receive extra compensation, in the form of a cell phone allowance, to cover business-related costs. All other employees may submit infrequent business-related cell phone expenses for individual reimbursement.

Procedures

Frequent Use of Cell Phones for Business Purposes

A. Establishment and Payment of Allowance

If a supervisor determines that a university employee's job duties include the frequent need for a cell phone, then the employee is eligible for an allowance to cover cell phone expenses. It may be requested using the Allowance Request Form. The request may be made any time during the fiscal year. This will be paid monthly via payroll from your department's account.

This allowance does not constitute an increase to base pay, and will not be included in the calculation of percentage increases to base pay due to annual raises, job upgrades, bonuses, benefits based on a percentage of salary, etc.

Supervisors and appropriate senior staff members must approve the cell phone allowance. The following guidelines identify a need for a cell phone and access to the cell phone allowance:

  • Safety requirements indicate having cellular phone is an integral part of performing duties of job description.
  • More than 50% of work is conducted in the field.
  • Required to be contacted on a regular basis.
  • Required to be on-call (24/7)
  • Critical decision maker

Supervisors are responsible for an annual review of employee business-related cell-phone use, to determine if existing cell phone allowances should be continued as-is, changed, or discontinued.  Please contact Nathan Peters if there are any changes to the allowance.

B. Determination of Dollar Amount of Allowance

The plan chosen should be the least expensive that proivdes adequate business related services.  Determination of the dollar amount of the allowance is made at the department level by the supervisor, but must be within the guidelines and dollar limits established under this policy.

Plan

 Monthly Payment

One-Time Phone*

450 Minutes

$45

$0

900 Minutes

$65

$0

Smart Phone Data

$85

$200

* The One-time phone purchase is based on a 2-year contract and is provided at time of new contract (documentation required). Allowance is only for the cost of the phone and not accessories (e.g. cases, Bluetooth, wire connections, etc.). Lost or broken phone will be the responsibility of the employee after initial purchase.

Wesleyan will pay only the agreed upon cell phone allowance even if monthly costs exceed the allowance. If the amount of the allowance subsidy needs to be changed because of documented business purposes, you will need to ask your supervisor to adjust the cell phone allowance and submit a new approved form.

The cell phone contract will be in the name of the Wesleyan faculty or staff member who will be solely responsible for all payments to the service provider. Only one cell phone allowance will be provided per faculty or staff member. The university reserves the right to remove a participant from this plan if there is insufficient budget in the designated fund to meet the cost of monthly allowances.

Wesleyan corporate cards or departmental accounts will no longer be allowed for monthly service cell phone fees or for related equipment purchases except in limited situations.

C. Use of Phone

Wesleyan does not accept any liability for claims, charges or disputes between the service provider and the faculty or staff member. Recipients of a cell phone allowance must notify Wesleyan of the cell phone number and must continue to maintain the cell phone while in receipt of the allowance.

Because the cell phone is owned personally by the employee, the employee may use the phone for both business and personal purposes, as needed. The employee may, at his or her own expense, add extra services or equipment features, as desired. If there are problems with service, the faculty or staff member will need to work directly with the carrier for resolution. ITS will continue to support smartphone users with email and calendar functionality.

Use of the phone in any manner contrary to local, state, or federal laws will constitute misuse, and will result in immediate termination of the cell phone allowance.

D. Fees for Contract Changes or Cancellations

If, prior to the end of the cell phone contract, a personal decision by the employee, or employee misconduct, or misuse of the phone, results in the need to end or change the cell phone contract, the employee will bear the cost of any fees associated with that change or cancellation.

If, prior to the end of the cell phone contract period, a departmental decision (unrelated to employee misconduct) results in the need to end or change the cell phone contract, the department will bear the cost of any fees associated with that change or cancellation. For example, the employee's supervisor has changed the employee's duties and the cell phone is no longer needed for business purposes. If the employee does not want to retain the current contract, change or cancellation fees will be reimbursed by the department.

II. Reimbursement for Business Calls on Personal Wireless Phone

If a university employee's job duties do not include the frequent need for a cell phone, the employee is not eligible for an allowance or a Wesleyan provided cell phone. Such employees may request reimbursement for the actual extra expenses of business cell phone calls. Reimbursement for per-minute "air time" charges is limited to the total overage charge shown on the invoice; expenses for minutes included in the plan will not be reimbursed. The individual should make personal payment to the provider, and then should submit a request for reimbursement. 

If personal use typically exceeds business use on a wireless phone, the employee should provide his/her own phone and submit reimbursement requests for business calls. A copy of the wireless phone bill, detailing the individual calls to be reimbursed, needs to accompany the reimbursement request. Although most wireless carriers do not include detailed phone records in their monthly statements, the information is readily available on-line from most major providers. Reimbursement documentation should identify the business purpose. 

Please submit the completed form to Nathan Peters, Room 400 North College.  Contact Nathan Peters at x2833 or npeters@wesleyan.edu if you have questions regarding the policy.