Last Revised: March 17, 2022

Refer questions to: Executive Director, GTS

Scope

This policy applies to faculty, teachers, and staff in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University and Clerc Center (collectively, the University). This policy addresses mobile phone allowance for eligible University employees.

Policy

Mobile phones are an important, and often necessary, communication tool to allow University employees to timely fulfill many of their job duties. This policy is designed both for organizational efficiency in complying with IRS rules and regulations and to allow employees who have a documented business need for flexibility in choice of cellular service provider and mobile phone. The policy also provides for an exemption for selected University employees whose responsibilities warrant University-provided mobile phones during their employment. 

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Set forth the parameters for employee allowance for personal mobile phones;
  2. Define when an employee qualifies to receive an allowance for a personal mobile device or qualifies for the University-provided mobile phone exemption; and
  3. Define employee responsibilities upon receiving an allowance for personal mobile phones or a University-provided mobile phone exemption.

Employee Allowance for Personal Mobile Phones

Mobile phone allowances are intended to offset an employee’s expenses related to the business use of a personal mobile phone and service plan. The allowance is provided through payroll paychecks on a nontaxable basis. The allowance is meant to cover business costs only, as reasonably expected, and not the full expense of service for a personal mobile phone. The University will not provide funding for the purchase or replacement of a personal mobile phone in addition to the monthly allowance amount. Allowances will not be processed retroactively. The University reserves the right to change the allowance amount based on changes in the market. Depending on the date of hire, new employees may not receive the allowance until the following month.

Full-time regular status and extended temporary employees will receive a monthly supplemental allowance for the use of their personal mobile phones and data plans to perform University-related business. The monthly mobile phone supplemental allowance will cease when the employee’s status has been changed to something other than full-time regular status or extended temporary. 

Mobile phones refer only to mobile phones and smartphones used for business purposes. Mobile wireless access devices (“hotspots” or “MiFi”), mobile tablets, and other types of mobile computers that are not phones are excluded from allowance eligibility under this policy.  

Based on the department’s business requirements and needs, and the specific nature of an employee’s work, the University may opt to provide the employee with a University-owned mobile device with data, voice, and text plan from the University’s preferred carrier in lieu of paying a supplemental allowance. Employees with a University-owned cellular device and plan are exempt from this policy and will not receive the monthly supplemental allowance. 

Departments may not establish any policies that differ from this University-wide policy. 

Eligibility Requirements

For Employee Allowances for Personal Mobile Phones

Full-time regular status and full-time extended temporary University and Clerc Center employees will automatically receive monthly supplemental allowance unless they have a University-owned mobile device with a University-provided cell plan.

For University-Provided Mobile Phones Exemptions

Full-time regular status and full-time extended temporary University and Clerc Center employees may be eligible to receive a University-owned mobile phone with a University-provided cell plan if they meet all of the following criteria—final approval is always at the sole discretion of the University:

  • The employee’s position requires them to be readily accessible for frequent contact with the public or with University faculty, staff, or students; and 
  • The employee's position limits his or her access to regular landline telephones, email access via other devices, or video phones that would satisfy the required business communication needs.

Employees that meet the eligibility requirements for a University-owned mobile phone should work with their Budget Unit Head (BUH) to complete the “Communication Device Request” form (Note: you will need to log into the IT Service Desk to view the form.) and have the form signed by the employee, BUH, senior administrator of the unit, and Gallaudet Technology Services (GTS) Executive Director. GTS is the only department authorized to obtain and manage mobile phone devices and their contracts.

Employee Responsibilities

University employees who qualify for, and receive, the supplemental allowance will be responsible for acquiring and maintaining their personal equipment. In addition, contracts entered into by qualifying employees receiving supplemental allowance will be personal contracts that are the responsibility of the employee, not the University.

Employees receiving a supplemental allowance or a University-owned mobile phone agree to use the mobile phone for business use. The business use includes but is not limited to the use of the mobile phone to:

  • authenticate the employee’s identity when logging into Gallaudet resources using the multi-factor authentication (MFA) app or code received via SMS.  The use of MFA is to protect the university’s cyberinfrastructure and data and to minimize potential ransomware attacks;
  • respond quickly via email, text, phone, or video during working hours (including emergency and on-call situations) when the employee is not in a place to conveniently use their laptop or able to connect to WiFi; and
  • connect their laptop to the Internet using the mobile hotspot when working remotely where WiFi is not available.
  • Non-Exempt (Hourly) Employees will NOT be eligible for overtime when using or responding to calls and messages not within their regular work hours unless authorized directly by their supervisor to do so. In other words, non-exempt employees cannot be required to be available for emergency or on-call situations unless pre-approved and negotiated.
  • Data, text messages, email, or voice messages related to University business on and/or transmitted via mobile phones or electronic communications are University records and subject to all University policies including but not limited to the Web Communications Policy and Use of Information Technology Resources Policy

Effective Date

This Policy is effective March 17, 2022