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Cell Phones and Smart Devices



The use of cell phones/smart devices can offer convenience and efficiency for College employees having legitimate business needs for this technology, and the College will follow procedures which provide for their cost-effective utilization.


  1. Devices coveredThis section applies to cell phones and smart devices used for voice and/or data communication. The allowance and reimbursements provided for in this Procedure are not available for: (1) wireless devices used exclusively for text, data, or e-mail communications that do not include voice communication as a primary capability or (2) tablet technology. This Procedure does not preclude College issuance of devices for College business.
  2. Based upon job functionsThe cell phone/smart device service plan allowance provided for herein must be justified by business requirements and the individual employee’s duties and responsibilities, including the need for communication continuity considering the individual employee’s frequency of travel and need for remote data access. The allowance is not based on a particular title, position or seniority. No employee may be required to provide a personal phone for College business.
  3. Monthly allowanceThe monthly cell phone/smart device service plan allowance amount will be as determined by the College officer primarily responsible for communications equipment.

  4. Not an entitlementThe allowance is not an entitlement of employment. The allowance is not part of an employee’s base salary, and may be changed and/or withdrawn by CPTC at any time.

  5. TaxabilityThe allowance may be considered to be taxable income and taxed to the employee in accordance with IRS regulations.

  6. Non-work periodsNo allowance is paid during periods of leave without pay (LWOP) or other non-paid status. If the employee is on LWOP or not working for part of a pay period, CPTC pays the allowance only on a prorated basis for actual work time.

  7. Approval & documentationThe allowance requires the approval of the employee, the supervisor, and the Cabinet member to whom the employee ultimately reports, documented by completion and signing of the appropriate Cell Phone/Smart Device Service Plan Allowance Agreement form.

  8. Sponsored projectsFor grants and other sponsored projects, CPTC receives reimbursement for telephone costs through the facilities and administrative costing process. Any costs of cell phones and/or services which are to be direct charges to a sponsored project must be specifically included in the budget proposal and approved by the sponsor.

  9. Service plan selectionThe employee is responsible for the selection of and enrollment in an appropriate service plan. The plan must, at minimum, address the requirements identified by the supervisor and/or the College officer primarily responsible for communications equipment. An employee may purchase any cell phone/smart device or service plan that meets these requirements. However, the employee is responsible for any additional costs above the allowance approved by the College.

  10. Notification to CollegeAn employee receiving the allowance must promptly inform College employees and relevant constituents of the phone number, for their use in contacting the employee during working hours.

  11. Employee contract responsibilityThe employee is personally responsible for complying with any contract entered into with a service provider, including payment of all expenses incurred, e.g., long distance, roaming fees, and taxes. Because the cell phone/smart device is owned by the employee, it may be used for personal as well as business use, but must be available for the performance of College responsibilities. In general, this means that the cell phone/smart device must be in possession of the employee and turned on during business hours, as appropriate, to make and receive communications. Specific details related to employee availability during non-traditional hours will be left to the individual and respective supervisor based on the circumstances.

  12. Inactivation/TheftAn employee receiving the allowance must notify his or her supervisor and/or the College officer primarily responsible for communications equipment as soon as possible after inactivation of the communication service or loss or theft of the communication device, and at least within five working days.

  13. Specific costs paid by employee:The Employee pays the costs for:

    1. Calls made on missing device: All calls made while the cell phone/smart device is missing.

    2. Ending or changing contract—employee-caused: If a personal decision by the employee, misconduct, or misuse of the cell phone/smart device results in the need to end or change the service plan contract during its term, the employee bears the cost of any fees associated with that change or cancellation. Example: The employee no longer wants to retain the current service plan contract, for personal reasons. The employee is responsible for the resulting change or cancellation costs.

    3. Device is lost or destroyed: The College pays no amount toward the purchase of a cell phone/smart device. If an employee’s cell phone/smart device is lost, destroyed, or damaged through the employee’s negligence or intentional act, any replacement or repair is at his/ her expense.

  14. Specific costs paid by CollegeIf a College decision unrelated to employee misconduct results in the need to end or change the service plan contract during its term, the College bears the cost of any fees associated with that change or cancellation, subject to appropriate documentation. Example: The employee’s supervisor changes the employee’s duties and the cell phone/smart phone is no longer required for CPTC purposes. If the employee does not wish to retain the current service plan contract, CPTC reimburses the employee for any change or cancellation fees.

  15. ReviewEach Cabinet member should identify cell phone/smart device needs in his or her area of responsibility at least annually in order to determine whether monthly allowances should be maintained, changed or discontinued.

  16. Documentation of business useThe employee must provide, when requested by his/ her responsible Cabinet member, a monthly bill that includes total taxes and fees paid by the employee for the service. The employee must indicate on the bill which calls are business related in order to assess the amount of business and personal use. If the monthly bills do not support the need for the allowance, the Cabinet member may discontinue the allowance. An employee who believes that the single month submitted does not adequately reflect average use may submit additional monthly statements, also highlighting all business calls.

  17. Records retentionCopies of the approval forms/agreements used to process allowances must be retained by the College Operations and College Relations Office for six years after the end of the current fiscal year, for audit and records retention purposes. Users of cell phones/smart devices should be aware that all records obtained by the College relative to cell phone/device allowances and usage are subject to state public disclosure statutes and requests.

  18. Reimbursement for employees who do not receive allowanceEmployees who are not authorized to receive the cell phone/smart device service plan allowance may be reimbursed for use of personally owned cell phones/smart devices for conducting College business. The employee shall submit reimbursement requests on a travel reimbursement form, attaching a copy of the bill and highlighting those calls for which reimbursement is requested. Reimbursement for such use will be at such rate(s) as may be established by the College officer primarily responsible for communications equipment. Requests for such reimbursement must be made within 90 days of the billing date for those charges. Total reimbursement for any given month shall not exceed the amount of the employee’s monthly service plan.

  19. Use while drivingCPTC drivers must observe the requirements of applicable laws and ordinances regarding use of cell phones/smart device while driving.



Adopted: 2012

Revised:  N/A