FM Cell Phone Stipends Procedure
|Procedure Number: OP02|
|Issue Date: December 1, 2016|
|Last Revision Date: May 6, 2022 (by Shawna Code)|
Facilities Management (FM) staff members are designated as Essential Personnel by FM Policy #601. As such, they are required to be readily available to“effect recovery and restoration of campus functions and services,” should an emergency occur. FM needs to ensure that certain department employees are able to be reached during emergency situations, as well as encourage their availability; it is more about availability and reachability than the actual number of minutes used on a cell phone plan. As such, we have elected to create a flat-rate system of cell phone stipends based on an employee’s role in the department. Further, having these fixed amounts allows us to better budget our expenses related to cell phone stipends and remain consistent throughout the department.
- FM Policy #601: Emergency Personnel
- FM Procedure #OP19: Employee Standby and Call-Back Operations
- WSU Policy #3-65: Compensation for Employee-Owned Plans and Devices
Facilities Business Operations Manager
Cell Phone Stipend Amounts
The following table defines the monthly cell phone stipend amount available to employees, based on their role in the department. The monthly cell phone stipend is considered taxable income for IRS purposes.
|AVP, Director, Manager, and Superintendent||$100|
|Assistant Manager and Lead||$60|
Process to Request/Approve/Initiate Cell Phone Stipends
After a supervisor determines that an employee should receive a cell phone stipend, the employee and supervisor should complete the Employee Mobile Communication Services Agreement found on the Telecommunications department website. The monthly amount should be filled in according to the chart above. Once all approvals have been secured, the form should be forwarded to the Facilities Business Operations Manager.
The Facilities Business Operations Manager will create an ePAR initiating the compensation through the end of the current fiscal year. The Facilities Business Operations Manager will also maintain a shared spreadsheet detailing each person in FM who has received a cell phone stipend. The spreadsheet will be shared with FM Senior Staff.
The completed Employee Mobile Communication Services Agreement will be kept in the department personnel files located in the Facilities Business Operations Manager’s office.
Annual Review of Cell Phone Stipends
Near the end of each fiscal year (likely in May), the Facilities Business Operations Manager will share the spreadsheet with the members of Senior Staff for their review and approval of the continuation of a cell phone stipend. For anyone who is approved to continue receiving a cell phone stipend, the Facilities Business Operations Manager will request new Employee Mobile Communication Services Agreements to be signed and then initiate a new ePAR, effective July 1st through June 30th of the following year (the fiscal year). Nothing will need to be done for those who aren’t approved to continue receiving a stipend as the ePARs automatically expire at the end of the fiscal year. If it is determined during this review that someone new should be added to the list, they should follow the steps outlined in the section above.
How to Cancel an Existing Stipend Mid-Year
If a stipend needs to be canceled mid-year, the supervisor should notify the Facilities Business Operations Manager via e-mail.
Availability of Those Who Receive Stipends
It is the assumption of FM that those who receive cell phone stipends have their cell phones on and with them during reasonable hours so that they may receive work-related calls. Anyone who receives a cell phone stipend will have their number published on the department phone list to aid in contacting appropriate personnel during emergencies and other work-related calls.
Process for Those Who Want to Opt-Out of the Program
All FM staff are defined as essential personnel; opting out of any cell phone stipend does not relieve an employee of being subject to recall for emergencies. Anyone who opts out still needs to provide their chain of command with their contact information.
Resolution if Employee and Manager Disagree about the Need for a Cell Phone Stipend
If an employee believes their work necessitates a cell phone stipend but the supervisor disagrees, disputes will be resolved by the Facilities Business Operations Manager. Either the employee or the supervisor can notify the Facilities Business Operations Manager via e-mail of the need to resolve the situation. If the Facilities Business Operations Manager cannot resolve the dispute, the situation may be elevated to the Business Services Director and ultimately the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Planning. In all instances, the chain of command should be followed, which means employees shouldn’t take their grievances directly to the AVP without first trying to resolve them at lower levels.
Replacement of Cell Phones
FM can provide financial assistance toward the replacement of cell phones for employees. This reimbursement is considered taxable income for IRS purposes.
The following criteria details how this assistance will be administered by the department:
- All requests for reimbursement require the employee to complete an Employee Mobile Communication Services Agreement form and include a copy of the receipt from the purchase of the cell phone.
- A Director or the AVP must approve all requests for reimbursement.
- Completed forms, with all appropriate signatures and receipts, must be forwarded to FM's Business Operations Manager for processing. A copy of the Agreement and receipt will be maintained by FM's Business Operations Manager for auditing purposes.
- There is a limit of $500 per employee in a two-year period for cell phone purchase reimbursements. An exception to these limits may be made by a Director or the AVP if an employee can demonstrate that their phone was damaged as a direct result of an incident that happened on the job and as a direct result of work-related duties.