MINES’ POLICY LIBRARY

Cell Phone Allowance Policy

POLICY PROFILE

Responsible Administrative Unit: Office of Finance & Administration

Policy Contact: Controller, Noelle Sanchez (nsanchez@mines.edu)

1.0 BACKGROUND

It is essential for certain employees in some circumstances to use cell phones or smartphones for conducting official Colorado School of Mines (“Mines” or “the school”) business. When there are critical circumstances, such as in the event of a campus emergency or some other urgent situation, these employees need to be able to be contacted at any time.

As of the date of this policy, there is no State of Colorado policy that dictates use of a state-provided cell phone or smartphone. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service is in the process of re-assessing its current rules and regulations surrounding cell phone use. While external guidance is not available, the school intends to pay an allowance for cell phone service to employees who occupy particular positions and who qualify as having critical institutional need (as defined below). This policy will be revised if the State of Colorado or the Internal Revenue Service issue guidelines or regulations regarding the use of cell phones.

2.0 POLICY

The School will provide a taxable allowance for personal cell phone or smartphone service plans to members of the campus-wide Incident Control Team (Appendix A).

Other employees may be approved as exceptions to this rule only if the school determines an employee has critical institutional need. In determining critical institutional need, the school considers the following:

  • The school must be able to communicate with the employee at any time and in any location;
  • The inability to make contact with the employee would cause an interruption to the school’s core business functions or contribute to the potential loss of life or property.

An evaluation of critical institutional need for a particular position may be requested by submitting the Cell Phone Allowance Form (Appendix B). The form must be signed by the employee’s supervisor and approved by his or her Vice President. If a position is determined to have critical institutional need, the supervisor/Vice President will determine which plan components are essential based on the employee’s position (i.e., text plan, voice plan, data/smartphone surcharge).

The school does not purchase cell phones, smartphones, or related equipment for individual employees.

3.0 MONTHLY ALLOWANCE OPERATIONS AND DETAILS

Information contained in Section 3.0 of this document applies to the following employees:

  • Members of the Incident Control Team, and
  • Employees in positions determined to have critical institutional need.

3.1 Procedures for Obtaining an Allowance

In applying for a cell phone allowance, employees along with their supervisors will take several steps:

  1. Justify critical institutional need on the Cell Phone Allowance Form. Document which cell phone components are essential based on the requirements of the employee’s position (i.e., text plan, voice plan, data/smartphone surcharge).
  2. Turn in the Cell Phone Allowance Form to the appropriate Vice President.
  3. If the Vice President approves the employee’s position as having critical institutional need, the Cell Phone Allowance Form should then be submitted to the Office of Human Resources in order to have the allowance added to the employee’s monthly paycheck. Allowances will be added to the employee’s monthly pre-tax income.

3.2 Allowance Rate Information

The amount of the monthly cell phone allowance cannot exceed the maximum rates for each approved service component (i.e., text plan, voice plan, data/smartphone surcharge). The current allowance rates for each service component are listed on the Cell Phone Allowance Form.

Please note:

  • Allowance rates are subject to change.
  • The cell phone allowance expires at the end of each fiscal year. To continue receiving an allowance, the employee must re-apply annually.
4.0 CELL PHONE USAGE GUIDELINES

4.1 Use of Cell Phones in Vehicles

All employees are reminded not to use cell phones or smartphones while operating a Mines vehicle or machinery of any kind, or while operating a personal vehicle, equipment or machinery on school business. Public Safety officers are exempt from this requirement when acting in their official capacity responding to emergency or other calls for service. In the case of an incoming business call while operating a vehicle, the employee must safely pull off the roadway and come to a stop before accepting the call or allow voicemail to accept the call, and return the message as soon as possible after reaching his or her destination, and/or the vehicle is stopped and safely off the roadway, unless a hands free device is being utilized.

4.2 Cell Phones and Institutional Data

All employees are reminded not to store institutional data, especially those containing personally identifiable information (PII), on cell phones, smartphones, or other mobile devices. If institutional data reside on personally-owned cell phones or smartphones, it must be for legitimate business reasons and must be temporary. These data are subject to all Mines data access, management, and privacy policies and must be protected to the maximum extent possible for the device. In addition, any device for which the school provides a monthly allowance or reimbursement, regardless of device ownership, is subject to all Mines data access, management, and privacy policies and must be protected to the maximum extent possible for the device.

5.0 APPENDIX A: Campus-wide Incident Control Team

The positions listed in Appendix A qualify for a cell phone/smartphone service plan allowance by virtue of their particular roles with campus emergencies. All are members of the Incident Control Team, which is responsible for managing emergency incidents on campus. Employees occupying these positions must still apply for an allowance using the Cell Phone Allowance Form (Appendix B). They are not required to justify critical institutional need.

  • General Counsel
  • Associate Counsel
  • Chief of Police/Director, Public Safety
  • Commander/Assistant Chief of Police
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Director, Enterprise Systems
  • Director, Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Director, Housing & Auxiliary Services
  • Director, Residence Life
  • Director, Facilities Management
  • Associate Director, Facilities Management
6.0 APPENDIX B: Cell Phone Allowance Form

Employees who believe they qualify for a monthly cell phone allowance and can justify critical institutional need (noted in Section 2.0 of this policy) must complete the Cell Phone Allowance Form in order to obtain an allowance.

The form can be found on the Human Resources Forms website: https://inside.mines.edu/UserFiles/File/hr/HR%20Forms/CELLPHONEALLOWANCE.xls.

7.0 HISTORY AND REVIEW CYCLE

The policy will be reviewed at least annually, or as needed by the Responsible Administrative Unit.

Last Issued: March 2010
Updated/Amended April 2011