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Cell Phone Reimbursement

Wayne School District
Employee Cell Phone Reimbursement Policy

Mobile phone charges may be reimbursed for the employee, in the form of a cell phone allowance, for a portion of the cost of a personal phone used for business purposes to improve service, enhance efficiency, provide safety and/or security, and facilitate employee contact and communication. No further reimbursement for cell phone costs is available to employees who receive such an allowance.

1) Eligibility:

  1. Employees whose job duties include the frequent need for a cell phone may receive a monthly cell phone stipend, to cover business-related costs. An employee is eligible for a personal phone stipend if at least one of the following criteria is met. (Cell phone stipend determination worksheet must be completed). 
    • The job function of the employee requires considerable time outside of his/her assigned office or work area and it is important that he/she is accessible during those times;
    • The job function of the employee requires him/her to be accessible outside of scheduled or normal working hours where time sensitive decisions/notification are required;
    • The job function of the employee requires him/her to have wireless data and internet access; and/or
    • The employee is designated as a first responder to emergencies.
  2. The superintendent shall recommend which employees qualify for a cell phone allowance. The 
superintendent will also make a recommendation on the prorated allowance if applicable, see below. The school board shall give final approval on each employee receiving a cell phone allowance.

2) Reimbursement: 
If it is determined that an employee will be reimbursed for use of a personal cell phone, the maximum amount that an employee can be reimbursed is $65 per month. 
Depending on the anticipated frequency of business use of the cell phone a prorated allowance may be given instead of the maximum amount above. 
Bus drivers assigned to a specific route, who carry a personal cell phone, may be given an allowance up to $20 per month for safety and accessibility purposes. Substitute and activity bus drivers may receive an allowance based on the lesser of 2% of their route pay or $20 per month. Bus drivers who qualify for the allowance will only be paid in the months they receive a paycheck.

3) Accountability:

  1. The employee is responsible for purchasing a cell phone and establishing a service contract with the cell phone service provider of his/her choice. The cell phone contract is in the name of the employee, who is solely responsible for all payments to the service provider. 
  2. If, prior to the end of the cell phone contract, a personal decision by the employee, employee misconduct, or misuse of the phone, results in the cell phone allowance being discontinued or the need to end or change the cell phone contract, the employee will bear the cost of any fees associated with that charge or cancellation. For example, if an employee resigns, and no longer wants to retain the current cell phone contract for personal purposes, any cancellation charges will be the employee’s responsibility.
  3. The employee must retain an active cell phone contract as long as a cell phone allowance is in place. The employee must provide their supervisor and the district office with their current cell phone number and immediately notify both parties if the number changes. Employees receiving a cell phone allowance are expected to carry the cell phone on their person and respond as appropriate when called for district business. 
  4. Because the employee owns the cell phone personally the stipend provided is not considered taxable income and 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 employee is expected to work directly with the carrier for resolution. 
  5. The District does not accept any liability for claims, charges or disputes between the service provider and the employee. Use of the phone in any manner contrary to local, state, or federal laws will constitute misuse, and may result in immediate termination. 
  6. Any cell phone that has data capabilities must be secured based on current security standards including password protection and encryption. If a cell phone with data capabilities is stolen or missing, it must be reported to the employee's supervisor, the wireless device service provider, and to IT as soon as possible.
  7. Employees are expected to delete all District data from the cell phone when their employment with the District is severed, except when required to maintain that data in compliance with litigation hold notice.
  8. When an employee receives an allowance for business use of their personal cell phone, their personal information is considered private. However, because personal data is comingled with public data, the personal data may be viewed by a state officer or court in response to a GRAMA request or court action related to the district data.
  9. Employees are responsible for operating state-owned vehicles in a safe and prudent manner, and therefore must obey state law as it applies to mobile phone use in vehicles. Employees are discouraged from operating mobile phones while driving personal and state-owned vehicles. Discouraged operation of a mobile phone while driving includes:
    • Use of a mobile phone, either hand held or hands-free.
    • Reading or responding to emails or text messages while operating a state-owned vehicle. Employees should take steps to:
      • Redirect incoming calls to voicemail.
      • Make emergency calls after parking in a safe location.

Policy Exhibit #1 DMC

Personal Cell Phone Allowance Agreement

The Wayne County School District (District) has determined that __________, (employee) must have cell phone service for the following business reasons:

  • The District needs to be able to contact the employee outside of normal business hours for business purposes.
  • The District requires that the employee be available to communicate with employees, management and respond 
to important emails while away from the office.

The District has determined that the most cost effective means of providing cell phone service to the employee is for the employee to use his/her personal cell phone service for business purposes, and that the employee will be given an ongoing allowance to cover the business use. This allowance is NOT taxable to the employee because the allowance is provided to the employee for valid business reasons. The allowance is calculated on the services needed for business purposes and does not include extra services needed only for personal reasons, and the allowance does not exceed the cost of the service. The employee does not have to keep track of how many minutes are used for personal vs. business reasons.

The following conditions apply:

  • The employee agrees to use their cell phone for business purposes stated above.
  • The employee agrees to abide by the cell phone policy of the district.
  • The employee will notify the employer if the cell phone service cost drops below the allowance amount of 
$_____________ per month.
  • Allowances paid under this agreement will be discontinued when the business need for cell phone service is no 
longer justified or the employee is no longer employed by the district.
  • The employee agrees to report lost or stolen devices to the district immediately.

Employee Signature___________________________Date:________________
Superintendent Signature:______________________Date________________

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