Wireless Handheld Device Allowance

Summary

The College recognizes that access to cellular network services is necessary for some employees to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions.  In such instances, employees may be eligible to receive additional compensation in the form of a cell phone or wireless handheld device allowance.

The College also recognizes that ready access to free wireless network connections is more prevalent, cell phone voice plans are commonly “unlimited,” and the cost of data access is much less than when the College devised its first “cell phone policy” in 2007.

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 added to each regular paycheck (monthly or biweekly) on a nontaxable basis.

Policy & Procedure

Supervisors will review all current “cell phone stipends” to determine whether an allowance is still warranted given the position’s responsibilities and this policy.

Criteria for Receiving an Allowance:

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

  1. The employee’s position requires spending a considerable amount of time outside of the assigned office, work area, campus or area where College-provided wireless network access is available during normal working hours and requires continuous access to telephone and/or network connections.
  2. The employee’s position requires that the College or College constituencies have regular access to the employee outside of scheduled or normal working hours. (This does not include occasional, incidental, or purely voluntary access, such as checking email from home.)

and the employee must provide the cell phone number to the employee’s supervisor and Human Resources.

Procedure

If a supervisor deems it appropriate for an employee to receive an allowance, the supervisor:

  1. completes a Handheld Device Service Allowance Request Form,
  2. attaches a copy of the employee’s most recent monthly cell services bill,
  3. forwards it to the employee’s departmental Vice President for approval, who
  4. forwards it to the Office of Human Resources for processing.
Payment Amounts

The allowance is $45.00 per month.  The College reserves the right to review the amount of the allowance annually, considering changes in technology and network availability, and cost of consumer voice and data plans for one-line/one-phone/one-number service.

Employees are responsible for the selection of their own cell/data plans and any and all fees and contract provisions relating to their service plan.  Employees are also responsible for selecting and acquiring their wireless hand held device, though they are strongly encouraged to select devices that are compatible with Microsoft 365 and other College applications that they regularly use in fulfilling their position responsibilities.

Period of Coverage & Allowance Termination

The period of coverage is determined by the supervisor.  The period will be no less than one month for employees who have seasonal responsibilities that warrant an allowance.

The allowance will terminate if:

  1. The employee’s position no longer meets the eligibility criteria for the allowance, or
  2. The employee leaves College employment or is on leave (of more than one month), or
  3. The employee no longer has a cell/data plan*
    * The College reserves the right to request employees who receive allowances to provide a copy of their most recent cell services bills

Supervisors are responsible for conducting an annual review of employees’ eligibility for the allowance.

Information Technology Policy

Information Technology requires that all users who access College information on mobile devices or tablets password protect and encrypt the devices and allow Wooster to erase the device if is lost or stolen.  Employees should contact IT for assistance in setting up their devices or follow the guide “Securing Portable & Mobile Devices.”

Support

The College assumes no responsibility for supporting devices purchased and used under this program. The employee bears sole responsibility for supporting devices obtained through this program by working with the cell phone or smartphone provider.

Vendor Discounts

Sprint and Verizon offer discounts to Wooster employees. Employees are encouraged to inquire into such discounts when shopping for wireless services.

Effective:  July 1, 2018 (supersedes all prior policies)
Contact:  Human Resources