University Policies

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  • Policy Title: Wireless Communications Stipend
  • Policy Number: ESU-FA-2010–001
  • Effective: December 9, 2010
  • Adopted: December 9, 2010
  • Last Reviewed: N/A
  • Amended: N/A
  • Related Policies: None

Policy Statement:

Policy language as noted below becomes effective November 1, 2010 (January 1, 2011 for bargaining unit employees) and no payments or reimbursements outside the scope of the policy will be made after December 31, 2010 (March 1, 2011 for bargaining unit employees).

Eligibility Requirements:

To qualify for the wireless communication stipend, the employee must have a business need, defined and approved by the supervisor that includes one or more of the following:

  • The duties of the position may lead to potentially dangerous scenarios and situations with no other acceptable or reliable means of alternative communications.
  • The duties of the position require that the employee work regularly in the field and need to be immediately accessible.
  • The duties of the position are such that immediate emergency response is critical (executive, police, or emergency responder) or the employee is responsible for critical infrastructure or operational support and needs to be immediately accessible at all times (telecommunication, computer, or network responder).
  • The duties of the position require a significant amount of travel during regular work hours or outside normal hours but related to official university business and access to information technology systems renders the employee more productive and/or the service the employee provides more effective.
  • The duties of the position require response and decision making to life-threatening or public safety issues and situations.
  • The duties of the position make it necessary that the employee be accessible to communicate with senior management at any time.
  • The duties of the position require the employee to be accessible to ensure the flow of information and critical support of the university mission.

Responsibilities of Employees Receiving Stipend:

When a wireless communication stipend has been approved and provided to an employee for the conduct of official business, the employee must comply with the following:

  • The employee will provide the phone number to his/her supervisor or department head/chair within five (5) working days of activation and will be available for calls (in possession of the wireless communication device and have it turned on) during those times specified by the appropriate department management.
  • In most cases, the employee may select any wireless carrier whose service meets the requirements of the job responsibilities as determined by the supervisor or department head. The department head, Telecommunications Coordinator, and the Chief Information Officer Services will work together to determine carrier requirements if problems arise or circumstances exist that require a specific carrier/technology be used.
  • The employee must inform the university immediately when the eligibility criteria are no longer met or within five (5) working days if the wireless service has been cancelled.
  • The employee must, in a timely manner, turn over all business related phone records at the request of management to comply with applicable laws.
  • Management may periodically request that the employee provide a copy of the first page of the phone bill in order to verify that he/she has an active wireless phone plan.

Management may also periodically request documentation of substantial business use.

At minimum, documentation is required when initially applying for the stipend and annually when the stipend is renewed.

The Wireless Communications Allowance Status form will be used for the yearly audit or to discontinue service.

The employee is responsible for all charges on his/her personal wireless plan, including early termination fees.

If the employee leaves the position, he/she continues to be responsible for the contractual obligations of his/her wireless plan.

The employee is personally responsible for complying with international, federal, state, and municipal laws regarding the use of wireless phones and other communication devices while driving.

Under no circumstances will East Stroudsburg University be liable for non-compliance, with applicable laws.

The employee should use discretion in relaying confidential business related information over any wireless devices since wireless transmissions are not secure.

Stipend Allowances

  1. The University shall periodically review and make available a Wireless Communication Request Justification and Acknowledgment form which defines maximum stipends to be paid to an employee based on position/organizational rank. Voice, text, and data packages will be approved through normal authorization procedures addressed in this policy.Users will be provided a recommended allowance based on their employment position and anticipated plan requirements as a function of their position. Users that require additional voice minutes, text messages, or data access should prepare written justification through the dean or director that may include specific documentation as to projects or circumstances that require higher than the recommended packages. (These allowances will be reviewed annually and adjusted when necessary.)
  2. In most cases, a stipend for the equipment will not be provided.However, if circumstances exist that require a specific carrier/technology be used, the respective Vice President (in consultation with the department head and Chief Information Officer) may approve a stipend to off-set the additional cost of this specific equipment.
  3. In most cases, a stipend for early termination fees will not be provided.However, if circumstances exist that require early termination of an existing contract, the respective Vice President (in consultation with the President) may approve a stipend to off-set the cost of early termination fees.

In limited applications with the approval of the respective Vice President and Chief Information Officer, a department may purchase appropriate numbers of electronic communication devices that will be under the control of the department manager for use for work related communication only.

These devices will be assigned by the department manager for use during travel or non-working hours to address issues related to 24/7 operational needs.

The employee who is assigned the device will be advised the device is for work related communication only.

The department manager or his /her designee will be responsible for review of the monthly bill to document that all usage of the device was work related.

The Department should maintain for a rolling one year period in either paper or electronic form all call details for the device.

Payment of the cost of the device will be made through the Department Budget.

Appeal Statement:

Not Specified in Current Policy

Definitions:

Wireless Communication Device

A device that transmits and receives voice, data, and/or text communication without being physically connected to the university network.

This definition includes but is not limited to such devices as cellular telephones, pagers, wireless internet services, wireless data devices, and cellular telephone/two-way devices.

This policy does not include radio devices that interface with a defined non-public radio frequency such as the 800 MHz Statewide Radio System.

Wireless Communications Stipend

The entirety of the stipend will be included as ordinary taxable income to the employee for federal income, FICA, Medicare and Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation tax purposes.

The wireless communications stipend does not constitute an increase in base pay, nor will it be included in the calculation of percentage increases to base pay.

The stipend will be itemized and reported on employee pay statements and W-2s and subject to withholding taxes.

Other Relevant Information:

ESU Cell Phone Request Procedure